ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers will put Opening Day starter Matt Harrison on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
Right-hander Justin Grimm will take his place on the roster and start Thursday night’s game at Seattle. The move will be retroactive to Saturday, making Harrison eligible to come off the DL April 21.
Harrison (0-2) has been bothered by lower back soreness for about two weeks.
He had an epidural injection in his spine Sunday after seeing back specialist Drew Dossett and having an MRI. He was diagnosed with an inflamed nerve in his lower back.
“It’s frustrating but it’s early in the season and I didn’t really say anything about it because we were hoping it would take care of itself where I was able to throw again,” Harrison said. “But it just didn’t progress like we thought it would. I’ve got to give this time to heal up and get better so I don’t further any injury or compensate anywhere else and end up having arm issues.”
Harrison is still able to play catch, but he can’t run. He’s hoping he’ll be out just two weeks but it’s too early to tell.
“At the same time it’s better to miss two starts than to miss 15 or 20 because I made it worse,” Harrison said. “A big thing is getting on a good back program, stabilizing stuff. I can keep my arm going. It’s just a matter of giving it time for that shot to work.”
Grimm was a rotation candidate in spring training but Nick Tepesch won the fifth spot. He’s made one start for Round Rock, allowing one run in 5 2/3 innings.