The 2013 season looked to be a promising one for Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison. Coming off a year during which he went 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA, the 27-year-old left-hander got the opening day start for the Rangers and looked to be a top starting pitcher for a team looking to win the AL West and return to the World Series.
Unfortunately, the season didn't play out that way for Harrison. He made only two starts this year before a herniated disk in his lower back sidelined him. The injury required two surgeries.
Yet Harrison still looked as if he would pitch again this year for the Rangers. That is, until he developed pain in his elbow and numbness in his left hand. At the time, doctors believed this was a result of Harrison overcompensating for his back issues. The decision was made to shut him down for the rest of the year and let his back heal properly.
Unfortunately for Harrison, the injury bug wasn't through with him and felt he needed a third surgical procedure this year. According to the Dallas Morning News, Harrison is having surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in his right (non-throwing) shoulder. As you may already know, the operation involves removing a rib pressing against a vein or nerve and thus causing numbness. He had the same surgery on his left shoulder in 2009.
Harrison reportedly underwent the procedure on Monday. He ends the year with an 0-2 record and 8.44 ERA.
As CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports, the Rangers will be able to collect insurance on Harrison's $5 million salary for this year. Before the season, he signed a five-year, $55 million contract that bought out his final two years of arbitration eligibility and first three years of free agency.
That, along with the fact that Harrison was already lost for the 2013 season, will have to serve as consolation for the Rangers, who could use another starting pitcher as they compete with the Oakland Athletics for the AL West title and attempt to gain home-field advantage through the American League playoffs.
Perhaps Alexi Ogando will be able to take that last spot in the Texas rotation, joining Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Matt Garza, and Martin Perez. Since returning from the disabled list due to shoulder inflammation, Ogando has pitched two scoreless appearances.