Harden's return bumps Feldman to bullpen

Harden's return bumps Feldman to bullpen

ANAHEIM -- Rich Harden is returning to the Rangers' rotation and Scott Feldman is going to the bullpen.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said Harden, who is currently on the disabled list, will start on Saturday against the Angels. He replaces Feldman, who is 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA in his last six starts and will be used in middle relief. Doug Mathis is expected to go back to the Minor Leagues.

"Feldman has the experience in the bullpen," Washington said before Friday's game against the Angels. "Harden is ready to go. We had to make a decision. They both need to be on the club, so Harden will start and Feldman will be out of the bullpen."

Harden is 3-3 with a 5.68 ERA in 13 starts and has been on the disabled list since June 12 with a strained muscle in his lower back. He is 0-2 with a 5.19 ERA in four starts on rehab assignment but pitched six strong innings in his last outing for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and a walk while striking out 10 against Memphis.

"We told him he had to go to Triple-A and dominate, and on Monday he showed he could dominate," Washington said. "He dominated."

Feldman, who was the Rangers' Opening Day starter, has made 79 relief appearances and 76 starts at the Major League level. But he hasn't worked out of the bullpen since April of last season. He began that season in the bullpen but then moved into the rotation and the end of April.

He remained there and ended up winning 17 games while being named Rangers Pitcher of the Year. But he is currently 5-9 with a 5.46 ERA in 20 starts this season.

"I'm just kind of surprised the way the season has gone from my results," Feldman said. "Obviously, we've got a good team and it's one of those things. I haven't been getting the job done and they have to go with another option. I have to go to the bullpen and get untracked.

"I just need to get back to myself and not tinker with stuff. I was successful last year sticking with my routine and trusting my stuff. That's the biggest thing."