ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers want to be sure their starters, particularly the young ones, have strong enough arms to help them down the stretch and into the postseason, assuming they hang on to their lead in the AL West.
So they've decided to skip Matt Harrison's next start.
“We just felt like he was the one that needed it the most right now,” manager Ron Washington said.
Scott Feldman will start in Harrison’s place, allowing Harrison to get a break. He’s slated to start again next Sunday at Fenway Park against Boston.
“You’re not happy with having to skip a start, especially near the end of the season,” Harrison said. “But they think that’s what is best for me. I’ll stay active in the bullpen. I understand it. They were honest with me, so I can’t complain.”
In August, Harrison hasn't been able to duplicate his July success. After going 3-0 with a 2.04 ERA last month, Harrison is 1-2 with a 6.51 ERA. He has pitched six or more innings in two of his five starts this month after going at least six in all five starts in July.
More telling: Harrison averaged 17.8 pitches per inning in August as opposed to 15.1 in July.
Harrison said he doesn't feel tired, but the club wants to give him a break and he understands that. And that's the smart approach.
They're also going to give Alexi Ogando a break at some point next month too. Washington was asked about Derek Holland and the skipper said he didn't look tired, so he'll get some extra days thanks to off days. So will Colby Lewis.
The only guy who will stay on his normal schedule and pitch every 5 days is C.J. Wilson, who leads the Rangers pitchers with 181 innings. The Rangers mapped things out to where Wilson can pitch in the final series against Anaheim or be ready for Game 1 of the ALDS.