Matt Harrison is rejoining the Rangers’ rotation

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Matt Harrison will come off the disabled list and start Sunday for the Rangers, seeing his first big-league game action in more than a year following multiple back surgeries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Harrison threw eight shutout innings in a minor-league rehab start Saturday at Double-A, striking out five and walking one while allowing three hits. He’ll return against the Mariners, in Seattle, which is a fairly friendly matchup.

Prior to an injury wrecked 2013 season Harrison made the All-Star team in 2012 on the way to throwing 213 innings with a 3.29 ERA. And even without Harrison and several other key injured players the Rangers are off to a 13-8 start.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.