Rangers notes: Matt Harrison hopes to return by late August

Posted Monday, Jul. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Left-hander Matt Harrison continues to target late August as a realistic timeframe for him to come off the disabled list after two operations in late April and early May to fix a herniated disc.

Harrison, the Texas Rangers’ starter on Opening Day, said that he is trying to get his body used to pitching again after taking two months off from any kind of throwing, and he’s also trying to get back into shape.

He has taken to playing catch off the mound to get his legs and hips moving downhill again, but perhaps the most difficult activity he has encountered is running outdoors after taking his first strides on a treadmill.

“I thought I was pretty good until I stepped outside,” said Harrison, who started only two games before hitting the disabled list.

There was some talk after the second surgery about Harrison not returning this year, but the rehab has gone smoothly enough to rule that out. He is hoping to throw a bullpen session shortly after the All-Star break and to be pitching on a rehab assignment by the beginning of August.

“But everything has to go right for that to happen,” he said. “Every day I get better and my confidence grows.”

False start

Right-handers Ross Wolf and Josh Lindblom were in a holding pattern as to which of them would start Wednesday while the Rangers waited to see if either would be needed in relief in the series opener.

Wolf was needed, getting the final out of the seventh on one pitch, but manager Ron Washington said that didn’t necessarily rule him out for Wednesday. Wolf said that he usually throws a bullpen session two days before a start, so he could still be ready to handle up to six innings.

Lindblom, though, had hoped to continue working as a starter after transitioning to the role at the start of the season.

“But you also can’t complain about being in the big leagues regardless of you role,” said Lindblom, who was 7-0 with a 1.99 ERA as a starter at Triple A Round Rock.

Beltre honored

Third baseman Adrian Beltre was named the American League Player of the Week after leading the league in five offensive categories over a six-game stretch.

Beltre swatted four homers, posted a .957 slugging percentage a 1.477 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, collected 25 total bases and had fiveextra-base hits. His .478 average was fourth-best in the AL.

His goal is to sustain the comfort level he has at the plate.

“It means that I’ve been doing my job,” Beltre said. “I’m seeing the ball well. I have more confidence. This is how I want to feel. Hopefully, it lasts a lot longer than the last time I felt this way.”

AAA difference

Ron Washington said that he didn’t expect the kind of production the Rangers have gotten from right-hander Tanner Scheppers, and wasn’t even sure he would make the Opening Day roster.

But Washington believes that Scheppers found motivation, in the form of not returning to Triple A.

“I saw him about to be going to Round Rock,” Washington said. “The last couple weeks of spring training he turned it up and started spotting his fastball and getting quick outs.”

Scheppers (5-1, 1.88 ERA) was fifth in the five-man Final Vote for the last spot on the All-Star team. Toronto reliever Steve Delabar was the leader, but Scheppers’ gap was considered a small one at around 600,000 votes.

To vote, visit mlb.com, tweet #TakeTanner, or text A4 to 89269. Voting ends at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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