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Possible Return for Rangers Starters?

The Ranger current starting rotation isn’t anything close to resembling the one that the front office intended to be for years to come.  Jon Daniels and company had spots one through four set for the present and foreseeable future.

The intended rotation (in no particular order):
Yu Darvish
Derek Holland
Martin Perez
Matt Harrison
…a million different options for number five.

Not one of those guys are currently starting games for the big league club.  It is expected that the latter three will all be back in the relatively near future.  It would serve as a huge boost to the Rangers pitching staff if even two of the three could be back to where they were before their injuries.  Here’s an update on each of them.

Martin Perez
The young left hander was just eight starts into the 2014 season before having to be shut down and undergoing Tommy John surgery.  His recovery had gone according to plan and he was nearing his return to the big leagues as he had been cleared for rehab assignments in Frisco.  Unfortunately, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported last week that he had tweaked his groin during a start and will be shut down for about a week.  This will likely push his return to the Rangers back until after the All Star break next month.

Holland was ready to take a big step forward this season after having an incredible finish to his injury shortened 2014.

Derek Holland
Holland was supposed to be the ace of the staff after Yu Darvish underwent Tommy John surgery in spring training.  Then, like out of a script of a disaster movie, Holland lasted one inning in his first start of the season before going down with a shoulder injury.  The initial time frame was four to six weeks for his return.  Things just haven’t healed at the desirable pace for Holland and the Rangers as an MRI last week showed that the shoulder still wasn’t ready to throw off a mound.  He’ll have another MRI this Friday, but his estimated return date is now being pushed back to early August at the earliest.

Matt Harrison
This is definitely the trickiest of the three.  Harrison hasn’t been himself since the 2012 season because of back injuries early in both the 2013 and 2014 campaigns.  His “lumbar spinal disc fusion surgery” in 2014 was thought to be something that should have ended his career.  Terrible news for a guy who went 32-20 with a 3.34 ERA in 399 innings over the course of 62 starts during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.  Matt Harrison has stayed strong though and has had an amazing comeback; no matter the end result.  In his rehab start Sunday for AAA Round Rock, he lasted six innings while throwing 98 pitches and giving up 2 runs.  He appears ready to return to the rotation, it’s just a matter of whose place he’s going to take.

It hasn’t been an easy few years on the injury front for the Rangers.  The never ending barrage of devastating injuries has tested their organizational depth.  With the eventual return of these pitchers, however, it might not be long before that depth is a luxury rather than the necessity to survive day to day as it has been the last season and a half.



Follow me on Twitter for DFW sports news: @DylanDuell

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