SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers scratched pitcher Matt Harrison from Saturday's start against the Padres due inflammation in a toe on his left foot. Neil Ramirez will start instead, with Nick Tepesch still scheduled to pitch against the A's in Surprise as part of a split-squad doubleheader.
Harrison, who won 18 games for the Rangers last year and pitched in the All-Star Game, said he felt the discomfort in his last bullpen session. He is expected to return to Dallas for further examination. It is the second toe on his left foot.
"It's just a sprained toe, basically," Harrison said. "I guess when I was dragging my foot, there would be some pain in there. I've got to get it taken care of right now. Now is the time to do it, get it taken care of, miss one start and get back on the mound."
Harrison understands how critical it is to not let foot problems linger. When he was acquired from the Braves on July 31, 2007, he was on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder. The injury was caused by Harrison overcompensating in his delivery because he was dealing with a case of turf toe.
This problem is not believed to be turf toe, but the Rangers don't want Harrison trying to pitch through it in Spring Training.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less