Matt Harrison recovers from toe issue
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison has recovered from a toe issue that flared up on Saturday and will start the 'B' game against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium.
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Harrison was scratched from Saturday's start against the San Diego Padres with inflammation in the second toe on his left foot, which he said is caused by irritation when he drags the foot while throwing a pitch.
He tested the toe on Sunday by throwing a 45-pitch bullpen session and experienced no issues. Harrison also participated in pitchers' fielding practice and had no problems with that either. The pain-free day led to Harrison canceling a Monday trip back to Texas to visit an orthopedist, whom he previously worked with when this initially happened last season.
"The biggest thing was trying not to think about it and that it was going to hurt and just focus on pitching," Harrison said. "Once I starting doing that, I started doing my normal mechanics and dragging my foot like I was before and had no pain."
Harrison said the problem re-emerged about two weeks ago and he had a cortisone shot last Tuesday in hopes the discomfort would disappear. The shot didn't work, resulting in the slight pushback for his third spring start.
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Manager Ron Washington said the three-day delay from Harrison's originally scheduled outing won't impact how he handles the left-hander. Harrison is still scheduled to throw four or five innings on Tuesday.
"It is good news," Washington said of Harrison's quick return. "It's not a setback with all the time we have down here. It is nice to hear he has no issues and can continue working."
When Harrison first experienced this issue last season, he rectified the situation by using an orthotic in his shoe.
Beginning Monday, he will test a new orthotic with a slightly raised sole in the front of his foot with hopes it alleviates the pressure on his toes when he is running or throwing off the mound. He didn't use the new insert during Sunday's bullpen session but thinks it may be a good temporary solution until the team returns to Texas for the regular season and he can visit his orthopedist.
Harrison is 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in four innings this spring. He pitched well in his second start after struggling in his debut.