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Matt Harrison has efficient, long rehab start

4/20/2014

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison was scheduled to throw 95 pitches or go six innings in Saturday's Double-A Frisco rehab start. He was so efficient that he didn't even get to 95 pitches and still managed to go eight innings against Corpus Christi.

Harrison threw 86 pitches (54 strikes) in his eight innings, allowing just three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He had nine ground ball outs and four fly ball outs and faced 27 batters. Harrison's lone walk came in the second, and he got the next batter to ground into a double play. He helped Frisco to a club-record 10th straight win.

"My head was in the right place, and I was just focused on competing and making a pitch at a time," Harrison said. "I wasn't worried about pitch counts or innings or anything. I was just worried about getting guys out."

The Rangers must decide if they want Harrison to make one more rehab start to build up even more arm strength, or if he's ready to join the rotation, possibly at some point next week. They have until early May to make a decision, which is when Harrison's 30-day rehab window will be over. Harrison's next turn would come on Thursday, when Texas is off, so it's possible the Rangers could slide him into the rotation in Seattle next weekend, if they believe he's ready.

Is Harrison ready to start in the big leagues?

"Yes," he said. "As of tonight, yes. My head is in the right place, and I know why I was struggling before and I got that straightened out. It wasn't anything mechanical. My mentality out there tonight, I know I can replicate that. I don't know what their plan is, but I'll find out tomorrow, I think.

"It's in their hands. If I need to throw another one, I'll go and do that, but I think I'm ready."