Left-hander Matt Harrison will move another step closer to rejoining the Rangers’ rotation when he makes a rehab start for Triple A Round Rock on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of his career-threatening back surgery.
Harrison said that he will pitch at Reno on an 85-pitch limit and would pitch again June 8 at Round Rock, but hasn’t been told the next steps after that. He made five starts at extended spring training, with the last coming Thursday.
He threw a bullpen Sunday at Globe Life Park.
“I feel great,” Harrison said. “A big difference the last two games was I felt like I maintained and picked up the velocity after the first inning.”
Harrison topped out at 90 mph at Arizona in his third start, though his velocity dipped the rest of that game. He sat at 86-89 mph throughout the final two, and he leaned on his off-speed pitches to keep the fastball-happy young hitters at extended spring guessing.
He expects to see the velocity climb once he is playing in more meaningful games against better competition. He pitched in the low- to mid-90s when healthy earlier in his career.
“I’ve never taken eight months off from throwing,” Harrison said. “I think when I get under some lights, that’s going to help.”
Lefty Derek Holland (shoulder) said that he will throw up to 90 feet this week before having an MRI exam Friday. If all goes well, he could begin ramping up his throwing program next week.
Right-hander Nick Tepesch (elbow) will continue his rehab at extended spring training, beginning Monday.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760