Harrison likely to get nod as No. 5 starter

Harrison likely to get nod as No. 5 starter

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington says he still hasn't decided who will be his fifth starting pitcher, but said it will "probably" be Matt Harrison.

"Of course he's in the mix," Washington said. "It probably may be Matt. We haven't made the decision final yet."

Washington said he expected to reach a decision either late Wednesday afternoon, or on Thursday.

Harrison, who was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on June 30, would serve as the Rangers' fifth starter until Rich Harden or Derek Holland can return from the disabled list. The Rangers started Dustin Nippert and Omar Beltre in the spot without positive results.

Harden continues to rehab well and could make a rehab assignment during the All-Star break.

"[There is a] chance. I think a lot of that depends on how things go with the bullpen and how [pitching coach] Mike [Maddux] and [bullpen coach Andy Hawkins] think the progression is," Washington said.

Holland's recovery has been slower, but Washington is pleased with the path he's on.

"He threw a half-mound bullpen [Wednesday] and [Thursday] he'll throw a whole mound bullpen," Washington said. "We'll go from there. His arm strength was good, he's felt better and he's thrown all his pitches. We'll see how it goes. Fingers are crossed that there are no more setbacks."

The left-handed Harrison began the season in the Rangers' rotation, before going on the disabled list May 7 with left biceps tendinitis. In the six starts he made, Harrison posted a 1-1 record with a 5.29 ERA.

He returned to the Rangers on May 26, but in a reliever capacity. He didn't earn any decisions, but did make seven relief appearances and lowered his season ERA to 4.17.