Just over a week ago Matt Harrison underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, an injury that landed the left-hander on the disabled list in mid-April after making just two starts for the Texas Rangers. Harrison reportedly began to experience some additional discomfort and numbness in his left leg on Tuesday, prompting the team to schedule him for an MRI early Wednesday morning. Doctors discovered some additional herniation in the disk – which is apparently common in this type of injury – and he underwent a second procedure on his back Wednesday afternoon.
Initially the Rangers expected that Harrison would be out of action until the All Star Break. It remains unclear if this second procedure will result in a change to that timetable.
In two starts before being shut down Harrison was clearly struggling on the mound. He’d allowed 10 earned runs on 14 hits (including a pair of home runs) in just 10.2 IP, posting an 8.44 ERA and 1.969 WHIP while losing both games. Texas replaced him in the rotation with Justin Grimm.
Harrison emerged as one of the Rangers’ top starting rotation options last season, going 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA in 32 starts. The now 27 year old posted career best marks in a number of statistical categories on the year, including throwing 213.1 IP with a 1.261 WHIP. He made the All Star team and finished 8th in AL Cy Young Award voting. He’d signed a six year contract extension with the Rangers prior to the 2012 season that looked like a near-bargain after the first year of the deal.