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Harrison Looking For Another Shot in Rotation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    After three up-and-down seasons for the Rangers, and a couple of injury problems, Matt Harrison appears ready to win a rotation spot out of spring training.

    The 6-4 lefty, who will be 26 in August, has had his moments in Arlington. As a rookie in 2008, he went 9-3 in 15 starts despite a lofty ERA of 5.49.

    In 2009, he went 4-5 with two complete games and a shutout, and then last year he was moved to a primarily relief role and had a career best 4.71 ERA.

    Now, he's back to the rotation and is throwing well. In Tuesday's exhibition loss to the Mariners, Harrison started the game and went the customary two innings and five of his six outs were groundouts, a good thing for Rangers pitchers in The Ballpark. He did allow a home run.

    Harrison is battling with highly touted lefty Derek Holland and another lefty, Michael Kirkman, possibly for the fifth spot in the rotation, and that partly depends on what the Rangers decide to do with closer Neftail Feliz.

    Holland has more electric stuff, but through their careers, you could make a valid argument that Harrison has been the more consistent of the two, which really doesn't say much for Holland thus far, but there is still a lot of time left in both of their careers and both could very well end up being quality arms for the Rangers, or another team.

    As it stands now, the Rangers could start the season with three leftys in the rotation, which is a little odd, if nothing else. C.J. Wilson is the ace, Colby Lewis is the No. 2, and we're led to believe Tommy Hunter will start the season as the No. 3 with the expectation of bouncing back from a really poor postseason that followed a stellar 2010 season. After that, it's wide open, and you can bet Harrison will do all he can to end up in one of those last two spots.