Rain cuts short Matt Harrison's rehab start

FRISCO, Texas -- Mother Nature wrecked the plan for Matt Harrison to throw 65 pitches or four innings in Double-A Frisco's season opener on Thursday.

Still, Harrison did throw 41 pitches in two-plus innings of work. He went to the mound to start the third in a 2-2 game and gave up a double before the rain washed out the rest of his start and the game.

But Harrison did throw a bunch of warm-up pitches, so he figured he got more than 65 in all together for the outing. And it hasn't changed his goal of returning to the rotation April 23.

Harrison gave up two runs in a 31-pitch first inning that included three extra-base hits and a walk after the lefty got the first two batters of the game.

"I don't know if I relaxed or what after those first two outs," Harrison said. "But I lost the strike zone for a few batters. But I got my tempo back."

He had a perfect second inning, needing just nine pitches (eight of them strikes). But once the rain came, that was it.

It's unclear now if the Rangers will keep Harrison on his same schedule. But since the plan was for him to throw 65 pitches and four innings again, he could just continue as scheduled and pitch in Frisco on Tuesday.

Harrison admitted disappointment in his velocity, which was 88-92 mph, though mainly in the 89-90 mph range. That was down from the 90-93 mph he was throwing before leaving Arizona. Part of that could be simply his mechanics were a bit off in windy conditions Thursday.

"Nothing I can do about Mother Nature," Harrison said. "Every start, in between, everything has felt great."

Harrison fell behind the other pitchers after sleeping on a soft mattress in spring training and experiencing some back tightness. He was checked out by Dr. Drew Dossett, who handled both of Harrison's back surgeries last year, and there was no major issues. Harrison hasn't had any physical problems since that point and continues to work toward building arm strength.