Matt Harrison, left, and Colby Lewis, right.
The time has finally come for the Texas Rangers to start getting some of those pitching reinforcements.
Colby Lewis has two decent starts under his belt after a 21-month hiatus, and on Sunday, Matt Harrison is set to make his return to the big-league mound after more than a year away from the bigs thanks to multiple back surgeries last season.
To accommodate the return of those two veteran familiar faces, the Rangers reset their weekend rotation for the three-game set in Seattle. Harrison was originally set to return on Friday to give everyone an extra day of rest and push Robbie Ross Jr. back to Saturday and Lewis to Sunday. But in order to prevent Lewis and Harrison from having to step in the batter's box in Colorado on May 5-6, the Rangers shifted things around. It also allows Yu Darvish to start Monday's opener of a three-game home set against the rival A's.
Lewis is traditionally the Rangers' best hitting pitcher now that C.J. Wilson is a thing of the past.
"We don't want them on the basepaths and we don't want them swinging the bat, so we had to adjust it," manager Ron Washington told MLB.com. "We don't need Harrison swinging and missing and we don't need Colby running the bases, because we know he can hit."
Harrison told MLB.com he understands the strategy, even if it delays his return by two days.
"I haven't swung the bat in a long time," Harrison said. "This gives me time to see how I recover from pitching every five days. I'm just glad to get back. The way I felt last year, I didn't know if I would ever pitch again."