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.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.