Rangers clear Matt Harrison for rehab assignment

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On the disabled list as he tries to return from multiple back surgeries last season, Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison has been cleared to make a minor-league rehab start Thursday at Double-A.

Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that Harrison is scheduled to throw four innings and “likely needs a few more starts, every five days, before he could join the rotation.”

That seemingly rules him out until May, especially since the Rangers will probably avoid rushing Harrison along after he was limited to just two starts last season due to back surgeries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrom.

Prior to having his 2013 ruined by health problems Harrison threw 213 innings with a 3.29 ERA for the Rangers in 2012, so whether it’s late April or early May getting him back would be a huge boost to Texas’ injury wrecked rotation.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week,¬†FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman¬†reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.