When the Phillies traded ace Cole Hamels to the Rangers ahead of last season’s trade deadline, lefty starter Matt Harrison was only included to help offset the salary being taken on by the Rangers. Still, there was a chance Harrison could contribute if he could get to a good place with his back injury.
Unfortunately, that won’t be the case. Matt Klentak, the Phillies’ new GM, said that the club doesn’t expect him “to be here anytime soon, if at all, this year,” as Andrew Astleford reports for The News Journal.
Harrison, 30, has made only nine starts over the past three seasons due to continuous back injuries. He underwent spinal fusion surgery in June 2014 and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last year.
When healthy, Harrison has pitched well. He made the American League All-Star team in 2012, finishing the year with an 18-11 record, a 3.29 ERA, and a 133/59 K/BB ratio over 213 1/3 innings. Hopefully, Harrison is able to use 2016 to get himself healthy enough to pitch again. Back injuries are no fun at all.
Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres will be promoted to the majors this weekend, per a report from Jack Curry of the YES Network. Torres was expected to make his debut earlier in the season, but his starting date was pushed back after he suffered a bout of back tightness last Monday. Now, however, it looks like he’s finally healthy enough to make an impact on a team that’s in sore need of an offensive boost. As of Saturday evening, the team has yet to officially confirm the move.
The 21-year-old infielder has made quite the impression in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this spring, slashing .370/.415/.543 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBI in his first 53 plate appearances. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, he was ranked first overall in the Yankees’ system and fifth among the league’s best prospects (via MLB Pipeline). His numbers at the plate have been made all the more impressive by the fact that he’s only 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm; neither the injury nor the lengthy recovery process seems to have had any detrimental effect on his game play this year.
While Torres appears most comfortable as a shortstop, he’s not expected to supplant Didi Gregorius in a starting role. Instead, it’s more likely that he’ll sub in at second and third base among the likes of Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes.