Updates from Tuesday, June 3
Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson has the latest on Harrison:
Matt Harrison had back fusion surgery today, which explains why he wasn't at the ballpark. Will spend two nights in hospital. #Rangers— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) June 4, 2014
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison added to the woes for the club's maligned rotation, as news broke of a potentially career-threatening back injury for the left-hander.
Max Wildstein of FanSided provided the information regarding Harrison's precarious health situation:
Hearing that Matt Harrison's injury is very serious and may be career ending.— Max Wildstein ⚾️ (@MaxWildstein) May 14, 2014
As reported by ESPNDallas.com's Jean-Jacques Taylor, Harrison exited his last start on Tuesday against the Houston Astros with what was deemed back stiffness, and also missed most of 2013 to recover from a surgically repaired herniated disk. While that seemed like a precautionary move at the time to remove him from the mound, the nature of the ailment is apparently very serious.
Harrison, who retired just five batters before leaving, shared his thoughts afterward, and didn't seem to know the source of his pain, per Taylor.
"Lower back more on the left side than the right on the left. It was affecting me driving through the baseball," said Harrison. "It felt like all arm. I don't really know why it happened what caused it or what I did wrong. Hopefully, I get good news and go from there."
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram noted how starting southpaw Martin Perez is also injured, and what the hurlers' options are moving forward:
Partially torn UCL for Martin Perez. Tommy John possible. Matt Harrison with a vertebrae issue. Fusion surgery possible. #Rangers— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) May 14, 2014
Martin Perez and Matt Harrison can both opt to try rehab first. Surgery for Harrison could put career in doubt. #Rangers— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) May 14, 2014
At age 28, it is rather hard to believe Harrison's playing days in the MLB could already be numbered, but it accentuates the continual refusal by the Rangers to add insurance to their pitching staff. Other than Yu Darvish, Texas has little firepower in the rotation, and is now down two starters in Perez and perhaps Harrison for good.
The Rangers rank in the bottom five in baseball in the major pitching categories of ERA, quality starts, WHIP and opponents' batting average. None of that bodes well for them with a ton of time remaining in the 2014 season.
General manager Jon Daniels has his work cut out to upgrade Texas' clear area of weakness to keep the club in the hunt for the postseason and to avoid slipping too far in the American League West division.
As for Harrison, the hope is that the injury turns out to be less serious than anticipated so that he can return the mound sometime in the future.