FRISCO, Texas -- Matt Harrison's 2011 season gave him a critical boost of confidence. He was able to stay in the rotation the entire season, threw a career-high 185 2/3 innings, won 14 games with a 3.39 ERA and got some postseason experience.
"Being able to make pretty much all my starts last year was big for me and get that full season starting under my belt, which I wasn’t able to do the two previous seasons breaking camp," Harrison said. "Hopefully, this year I can do the same thing and go out there and give them a chance to win every time out."
Harrison said he reviewed his 2011 season and was disappointed with how things ended. He struggled in the World Series, going 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA. He started Game 7 and gave up three runs on five hits in four innings, getting the loss.
"I really feel like I’m prepared to go physically too and am looking forward to learning from last year and improving on the mistakes I made," Harrison said.
He said he threw off a mound for the first time on Thursday and felt good tossing 20 pitches to bullpen catcher Josh Frasier. Harrison said he took a month completely off after the long season and then got back into his routine. A newborn child has kept him busy this offseason, but he's been working out and said he's ready to go to Surprise, Ariz., for spring training.
"I'm just looking forward to getting back on the mound in few weeks and facing live hitters," Harrison said. "I know there will be a few guys going for some final spots. I’m glad to be one of those guys. Nothing is set in stone. They want everyone to come in and be ready. Nobody can take anything for granted."
Ian Kinsler, who was signing autographs with Harrison at the club's Winter Caravan in Frisco on Saturday, remembers Harrison telling him two years ago at spring training that he was going to win the Cy Young Award.
"I thought it was a lofty goal, but I liked it," Kinsler said. "I really believe he thinks he’s that good, but at that point in time didn’t learn how to use the tools he had and last year was huge for that. Going through a full season without being hurt much, threw close to 200 innings, threw in the playoffs for us. He’s one of the best lefties in the game in my eyes."