Rangers: Matt Harrison scratched with foot injury

Rob Tringali

This little piggy will keep Rangers starter Matt Harrison home today. The lefty has been scratched due to an inflammation in his second toe.

Rangers lefty Matt Harrison has been scratched from his scheduled start today with what, MLB.com describes as an "inflammation in 2nd toe of left foot."

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Harrison was the Rangers most reliable pitcher in 2012, throwing 214 innings with a 3.26 ERA. He was named to the 2012 American League All-Star team and he finished eighth in the Al Cy Young voting. He has made two spring training starts thus far and he has not been sharp to this point. In four innings, he has faced 20 batter and allowed nine hits and four runs with just one strike out.

If the oddly specific tweet from MLB.com is accurate, this is not likely to be a significant injury. Harrisonis thought to be competing with Yu Darvish this spring for the top spot in the Rangers rotation and the Opening Day start. The Rangers need both starters healthy and effective in the highly competitive AL West, especially since their final rotation spot is still up for grabs.

Prospect Neil Ramirez will get the start in Harrison’s place. Ramirez made fifteen starts in AAA for the Rangers affiliate last season, posting a 7.66 ERA in 74 innings. Prior to his rough 2012 season, he had been among the more highly touted Rangers pitching prospects, ranking 5th in their system according to Baseball America prior to last season. At this point, Ramirez is more likely to stick as a reliever than to make the team’s rotation.

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