Manager Ron Washington confirmed Sunday morning that Yu Darvish, Nick Martinez and Martin Perez will take the mound during the series against Oakland. Matt Harrison will be on the road trip, and will throw a bullpen while in Oakland. If all goes well, he could see his first start next weekend in Seattle.
Matt Harrison was dominant in eight shutout innings for the Frisco RoughRiders on Saturday night.
The goal for Harrison was six innings or roughly 90 pitches, but he needed just 86 pitches to get through his eight innings of work. Harrison didn't allow a hit after the second inning.
Enigmatic minor league writer who uses the name Tepid Participation on twitter reported that Harrison had good velocity, but also good command of his pitches Saturday.
@aandro Yep. 94 once and a few 93s. CH was good, a few SLs. Outstanding command and tempo.— Tepid Participation (@TepidP) April 20, 2014
"My velocity was better, because I think I was more focused" said Harrison. "I was able to attack, and once I hit the fourth innings is when I turned on another gear. Just stayed on the attack and my velocity was up to 94, my off speed stuff was better than my last couple games. It's definitely something that I haven't felt in a long time".
Harrison struck out five Corpus Christi Hooks and walked just one in the ballgame.
He is scheduled for another rehab start before returning to the Rangers' rotation, but a dominant performance like Saturday's could mean an expedited return, especially with continued injuries to the pitching staff. Tanner Scheppers was placed on the disabled list Friday.
Washington has said that Nick Martinez, who made his big league debut on April 5, is the most likely candidate to make the start on Tuesday, filling Scheppers's spot in the rotation. It could be another one-day stint with the major league club for Martinez, as Harrison would make sense as Scheppers's long-term replacement.
Harrison's start Saturday was leaps and bounds ahead of his previous start, in which he allowed six hits and three runs in just 3.1 innings against Arkansas. The lefty making his next rehab start is a possibility to see which Matt Harrison comes to the mound, but his work on Saturday is nothing but encouraging for a pitching staff still recovering from injuries.
"Much better" said Harrison. "I felt like myself again yesterday, you know we'll just see what happens from there. They told me they want me to go on the roadtrip, see how I recover and be in front of them when I throw my next bullpen and we'll just see how it goes from there."
Katy Clarke contributed to the report.