Matt Harrison injury: Rangers lefty to DL with sore back

Layne Murdoch

Prospect Justin Grimm is called up to take his place.

The Texas Rangers have placed lefty starter Matt Harrison on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, with a sore back.

Harrison had struggled in his first two starts, going 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA. He was yanked in the fifth inning of his start Saturday against the Angels due to soreness in his lower back, but not before giving up five runs on eight hits, four walks, and two home runs. Since then, the fate of his next start was in doubt, general manager Jon Daniels saying, "The last thing we want to do is compromise his arm by having him fight through it. Our responsibility is to make the right call for the long haul."

Harrison's back had troubled him for the last three weeks, causing stiffness in his legs that hindered his delivery. The decision to put him on the DL and call up right-hander Justin Grimm means Harrison will miss a minimum of two starts.

Grimm, rated the organizations fifth-best prospect by Baseball America prior to the season, made his major league debut with the Rangers last June, starting two games and relieving in three others. He went 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA, but gave hints of the excellent command that he displayed in the minors, walking just three batters in 14 innings while striking out 13. Overall, Grimm has posted a 3.09 ERA in 51 minor league games, walking 2.6 batters per nine innings while striking out 7.5 batters per nine.

In choosing Grimm, the Rangers bypassed 40-year-old former starter Derek Lowe, now working out of the pen. Should they require other options, veteran Colby Lewis is working towards a rehab assignment after undergoing surgery for a torn flexor tendon last July.

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