Rich Harden impresses in first start of latest rehab assignment

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Placed on the disabled list last week with shoulder tendinitis, Rich Harden made his first rehab start yesterday at Triple-A and racked up 10 strikeouts in six innings. He allowed just an unearned run on three hits and three walks.
For now Derek Holland has taken his spot in the Rangers’ rotation, but both are scheduled to pitch again on Monday and another impressive outing from Harden or another clunker from Holland could lead to the Rangers making the switch.
Signed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with an $11 million mutual option for next season, Harden has been inconsistent and injured while going 4-4 with a 5.45 ERA in 15 starts for the Rangers. He managed consecutive Quality Starts just once, which is why the playoff-bound Rangers likely aren’t in a rush to get him back in the rotation based on one good night at Triple-A.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.