As noted by this MLB.com press release, the Rangers activated starter Rich Harden from the disabled list on Saturday afternoon. In fact, he is on the bump for a Saturday evening matchup with the Angels and their new right-hander, Dan Haren.
Harden hit the 15-day disabled list in early June with a strained glute and an ugly 5.68 ERA and 1.68 WHIP over his first 13 starts. The Rangers will hope that the extended time off and a subsequent minor league rehab assignment have helped him right the ship. He struck out 10 batters over six scoreless innings on Monday in his final rehab outing with Triple-A Oklahoma City and threw 67 of his 96 pitches for strikes. If he pitches like that now that he’s back in the majors, Harden will be just fine.
The Rangers are eight games ahead of the Angels in the American League West and appear to be headed for the playoffs for the first time since 1999. If Harden wants to be included in the club’s October rotation, he will need to string together some quality outings down the stretch. He’s plenty capable of that, but he’s yet to actually do it this season for Texas.