The Texas Rangers are having a very bad day. Two key rotation members, Martin Perez and Matt Harrison both were undergoing medical evaluations for their elbow and back, respectively. Both got bad, bad news.
Perez had a terrific first month for the Rangers and was a big reason they survived their earlier rotation health issues, now he looks like the next young arm that will be claimed by the growing Tommy John epidemic. That’s how quickly a pitcher can go from a breakout candidate to just plain breaking down. On the bright side, Perez has to feel pretty good about signing a contract extension through 2020 before the season.
Perhaps more catastrophic than the Perez news is the diagnosis that Matt Harrison received for his troublesome back.
I’m no doctor, but spinal fusion sounds doesn’t sound good. Considering that Harrison missed most of 2013 with back surgery, it is fair to assume that he is likely to miss the rest of this season and possibly even see his career threatened by this injury, especially if he goes the surgical route. Even if he doesn’t, it is hard to imagine how he could be effective while trying to “live with the pain.” Oh, and Harrison signed an extension of his own for five-year, $55 million extension before the 2013 season, so that’s another investment that is looking pretty bad for Texas.
With Derek Holland and Joe Saunders already on the disabled list, Nick Tepesch and Nick Martinez will step into the rotation. If the Rangers have any hope of reaching the playoffs this season, they’ll most likely have to turn to the trade market to find help. Lots and lots of help.