Harrison sharp in extended spring start

Rangers lefty tosses four scoreless innings, may go on rehab assignment

Harrison sharp in extended spring start

NEW YORK -- As Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison approaches the one-year anniversary of his back surgery, the chances of him pitching in the big leagues again continues to grow.

Harrison made his third start in extended spring camp Saturday in Arizona and pitched four scoreless innings. The left-hander allowed three hits, struck out four and threw 62 pitches. His velocity was 86-88 mph.

"The velocity will come when it comes," Harrison said. "I wanted to maintain my velocity, which I did. I think my stuff was sharper than it had been in a long time."

Pitching coach Mike Maddux said the Rangers aren't sure if Harrison will pitch again in Arizona or go on a medical rehab assignment in the Minor Leagues. The Rangers want to be sure he is ready because the rehab assignment has a 30-day time limit.

Harrison, who has made just six starts in his past two seasons, underwent spinal fusion surgery June 3, 2014. There is no history of a pitcher returning from such a serious operation, but Harrison is starting to chart a course.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.