Around these parts, when it comes to injury news involving starting pitchers, the news is generally not good.
But on Tuesday, the club received some good — no, great — news on the injury front and might have just put a big ol' circle on their calendar on July 1.
That's because that is the day that veteran lefty Matt Harrison is targeting to return to the Rangers, which would be an unprecedented return similar to that of his teammate, Colby Lewis' from a hip resurfacing procedure last year. Harrison's return might even be more unlikely than Lewis' ever was, as he had a lumbar fusion surgery in his lower back.
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“I’m almost to the impatient stage,” Harrison told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday in the visitor’s clubhouse at Chase Field, one day after he threw a 75-pitch bullpen session at the Rangers’ spring training facility in Surprise, Ariz.. “I feel like I’m really close. I’m still trying to take it day-by-day, but out here, they are long days.”
The next step for Harrison is an 80-pitch bullpen with breaks every 20 pitches or so to simulate a game and breaks between innings. If that goes well, Evan Grant writes, then he'll be ready to face live hitters. If that goes well, he could embark on a rehab assignment and be ready to return on July 1.
Coincidentally, that's about the time Martin Perez is set to return from Tommy John surgery last year as well as the time Derek Holland could be returning from his shoulder injury that halted his season after just nine pitches.
“Maybe we can all get back around the same time,” Harrison said. “That would be great.”
It's a pipe dream to the umpteenth degree, but just imagine this current rotation with a healthy, effective Perez, Holland and Harrison all back in the picture? You're looking at a pretty dang solid rotation that would look something like: Derek Holland, Yovani Gallardo, Martin Perez, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison/Nick Martinez.
Of course, they'll have to survive and hang on until then, but if they can, things could be fun this summer, after all.