Rangers place Matt Harrison on DL with back injury

The Texas Rangers have placed starter Matt Harrison on the 15-day DL with an inflammed nerve in his back, and have called up Justin Grimm from AAA Oklahoma City to replace him in the rotation. Grimm will start on Thursday for the Rangers in Seattle.

Harrison, who signed a five-year, $55 million extension with the Rangers this offseason, has struggled this year. He's allowed ten runs in 10 2/3 innings, striking out 12 and walking seven. In fact, the only two Rangers losses this year have both been credited to Harrison.

Grimm has made just one start this year, allowing one run in 5 2/3 to Omaha last Friday while striking out four and walking two. The 24-year old, ranked as the consensus 7th-best prospect in the Rangers system, made his major league debut last year, and allowed 14 runs in 14 innings despite striking out 13 and walking only three.

The Rangers rotation depth has taken some hits this year, with Harrison joining Martin Perez, Neftali Feliz, and Colby Lewis on the DL. Perez broke his forearm in Spring Training, and is expected to be back in late April or sometime in May, while Feliz and Lewis both had surgery last season (Tommy John for Feliz, flexor tendon for Lewis). Feliz is expected to be out until July or August, while Lewis could be back in May or June. 

Thankfully for Texas, they're about to embark on an easy run of their schedule. Once the Rays leave Texas after Wednesday's game, the Rangers have ten straight games against the Mariners and Cubs. Following a series with the Angels, the Rangers then will get four games with the Twins. Harrison's DL stint was retroactive to Sunday, and he's only expected to miss the minimum 15 days, meaning he'll be back for the Angels series.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.