A bad mattress recently caused some back stiffness for Matt Harrison, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that an MRI came back negative and that the southpaw is expected to resume a throwing program on Thursday.
While Harrison isn’t expected to be ready for Opening Day, this still qualifies as good news for the Rangers. There was obvious cause for concern about his symptoms coming off a pair of surgeries last year to repair a herniated disk in his back, but the hope is that a nerve-blocking injection for his neck will get him back on the mound soon. Assuming Harrison makes solid progress, he should be able to join the Rangers’ rotation at some point in April.
Harrison, 28, was limited to just two starts with the Rangers last season. He went 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA in 32 starts in 2012.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.