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Rangers have decision to make on Harden

Rangers have decision to make on Harden

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have a decision to make.

They can stick with Scott Feldman, who is 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA in his past six starts, at the back end of their rotation or they can give Rich Harden a chance.

Harden impressed in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing no earned runs on two hits and a walk while striking out 10, including eight of the last 10 and the side in the fifth and sixth innings.

"He's done what we asked him to do, so now we just have a decision to make," manager Ron Washington said. "We just haven't made it yet."

The Rangers will sit down as a group with Washington, pitching coach Mike Maddux, general manager Jon Daniels and others to decide what they will do next. Most likely, Feldman will pitch Friday against the Angels, and Harden will either go to the bullpen or make one more start on rehab assignment.

Harden said he feels he is Major League ready and has been.

"I felt good. I felt like everything went well," he said. "I got my offspeed working early. That's been the key."

But Harden said he didn't feel like he needed to dominate in the manner he did to have a chance at returning to the rotation.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "I certainly don't feel like I needed that result, but it doesn't hurt."

Added Washington: "We needed him to show us that he could dominate down in the Minor Leagues. He showed us that. That's a good thing. We just have to get together and decide where to go from here."

Harden could start in Feldman's place on Saturday against the Angels and be going on four days' rest. But Washington didn't discuss potential options for Harden, opting instead to wait until he can meet with members of the Rangers' coaching staff.

"I don't want to speculate," Washington said. "He's done well, he got back in here today. We're going to talk about it. We'll get together with Rich and let him know what our thinking is. Then we'll decide something."

And while Washington didn't say Harden's return to the rotation was imminent, he didn't rule him out for starting Saturday either.

"Anything is possible, but we haven't talked about it yet," Washington said. "I don't really have a concrete answer and I certainly don't want to speculate and be totally wrong."

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