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Texas Rangers rumors: Matt Harrison returning to the Ranger rotation

Per Evan Grant, Matt Harrison is expected to return to the Rangers rotation as soon as a week from tomorrow

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Texas Rangers rumors:  Matt Harrison apparently will be returning to the Texas Rangers rotation after he makes his final minor league rehab start on Wednesday, according to Evan Grant.

Harrison threw a bullpen session for Jeff Banister and Mike Maddux today, and Banister is quoted by Grant as saying that all the Rangers need to see from Harrison on Wednesday to convince them he's ready to be in the major league rotation is for him to come out of the start healthy.

Harrison has been working his way back from 2014 spinal fusion surgery that was potentially career-ending.  Harrison's velocity in his rehab starts hasn't been where it was pre-surgery, and his stuff has been inconsistent, but with his 30 days up on Thursday, the Rangers are apparently confident enough in him to bring him back and plug him into the rotation.

The timing of upcoming off-days makes putting him in the rotation a bit more complicated...Texas has an offday on Monday, July 6, and another one on Thursday, July 9.  Texas then is off on the All Star Break from July 13-16.

Texas could go to a 6 man rotation for a few weeks after the the meantime, they could option Nick Martinez or Chi Chi Gonzalez to the minors to allow them to either stay on their regular pitching cycle, or provide a mechanism for them to get an innings break while keeping fresh arms in the pen.  Alternatively, Wandy Rodriguez could end up on the disabled list.

Harrison is on the 60 day disabled list, which will necessitate a 40 man roster move to open up a spot for him.  Phil Klein, currently in the AAA disabled list, could be recalled and put on the 60 day d.l., or the Rangers could cut Sam Freeman or Ross Detwiler loose to free up a roster spot.

The Rangers will have to go through this exercise again a couple of weeks later when Martin Perez is ready to return.  Perez threw 4 innings for Round Rock last night, and would probably be ready to return after just one or two more rehab starts, although the timing of the ASB could mean that Texas might leave him out on assignment a little while longer than they would otherwise.