Matt Harrison Cleared to Throw

Some good post-holiday news is coming out of the woodwork tonight, as Anthony Andro is reporting that Dr. Drew Dossett has cleared Matt Harrison to being a throwing program in two weeks.

While Harrison isn't out of the woods just yet, and there's still significant doubt that he'll ever pitch competitively again, it's at least encouraging that the spinal fusion procedure appears to be taking thus far, as his spine is 85% fused, and expected to be at 100% within 9 to 12 months following the procedure.

At best, Harrison could bolster the starting rotation sometime in June, but being conservative, the Rangers likely won't count on any real production from him moving forward. Anything he's able to give would be a plus for both him and the organization.

At his best, Harrison has been a 3-4 WAR pitcher who can pitch effective innings while providing good middle-of-the-rotation value. At worst, of course, Harrison has been mostly unable to pitch over the course of the past two seasons. If, somehow, Harrison were able to provide something between those two options and be a late-season #4-5 starter in the rotation, I'd have to believe the Rangers would consider it a victory.

For now, talk of Harrison pitching again is a bit premature, but the current prognosis is certainly looking a lot better than it was back in June when the Rangers lost Harrison once again to a back injury.