Texas Rangers SP Matt Harrison Out for the Season Following Back Surgery

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2013

The Texas Rangers' quest for the AL West crown will have to continue on without a key member of the team, as starting pitcher Matt Harrison will not be activated this season following back surgery.


UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 4:25 p.m. ET

From ESPNDallas.com's Todd Wills:

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UPDATE: Wednesday, July 24, at 7:10 p.m. ET

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson:

From the Texas Rangers' official Twitter feed:

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UPDATE: Wednesday, May 1, at 6:20 p.m. ET

From Dallas Morning News reporter Evan Grant:

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Original Text:

According to the Rangers' official Twitter feed, starting pitcher Matt Harrison will undergo back surgery for a herniated disc and be out until after the All-Star break:

The 27-year-old left-hander had been suffering through back soreness throughout April and was placed on the disabled list earlier this month.

Initially thought to be merely an inflamed nerve in his back, Friday’s diagnosis will put the Rangers’ rotation in a dire situation.

Ascending in Texas' rotation in each of the past two seasons, Harrison had developed into one of manager Ron Washington’s top workhorses. Harrison compiled an 18-11 record with a 3.29 ERA and 1.26 WHIP last season, tossing four complete games en route to his first All-Star appearance. 

Expected to dominate atop the Rangers’ rotation again in 2013, it was clear from Harrison’s first start that something wasn’t right. The southpaw started two games, losing both while posting an 8.44 ERA and 1.97 WHIP. Harrison’s control was especially erratic, as he walked seven batters in just 10.2 innings pitched. 

Despite those struggles, this is an injury Texas could ill afford.

The Rangers had already been through an offseason full of turmoil, having lost star outfielder Josh Hamilton to the rival Angels. Harrison and ace Yu Darvish were supposed to be the anchors to help mitigate that loss, but the former’s injury could put the Rangers in a hole out West. 

Right-hander Justin Grimm replaced Harrison in the rotation and will likely continue to do so for the time being. Grimm started one game in Harrison’s place this season, spraying five hits and giving up two runs in four innings pitched. 

The 24-year-old Grimm could develop into a solid back-end starter later in his career, but it seems likely that Texas will look to make a move to replace Harrison sooner rather than later.