31-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Harrison has made just three starts in the past two seasons and did not pitch at all last year. He came back from spinal fusion surgery in 2015 and went back on the disabled list with a type of lower-...
Matt Harrison Contract Information:
Released by the Phillies in November of 2016.
Harrison (back) was released by the Phillies on Tuesday.
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Matt Harrison Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Matt Harrison Defensive Stats
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Matt Harrison: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Harrison returned to action last July after missing more than a year recovering from spinal fusion surgery. He made just three starts before returning to the disabled list with a type of lower-back inflammation called hyperthyroidism. He was shipped to the Phillies last season as a salary dump in the Cole Hamels trade, but it is fair to wonder if he will ever pitch for his new club. At this point his career is very much in question due to the recurring back injuries. With declining velocity, it seems unlikely Harrison would produce much fantasy value even if he can return to pitching. It's possible that some of the questions regarding his chances of contributing in 2016 will be answered during spring training.
Looking for a model of perseverance? Try Harrison. Injuries have cost him several seasons of work and sent him to the DL six different times. His back has been the biggest issue and has essentially cost him the last two seasons, limiting him to just 28 innings. Prior to that he had a pair of very impressive seasons as he found a way to tame that home ballpark and become a usable asset despite a modest strikeout rate and solid-but-unspectacular K:BB ratio. He put up a 3.34 ERA in 399 innings in 2011-12 and looked like he would become a fixture in the Rangers' rotation. Alas, an inflamed nerve in his back that required surgery and subsequently failed to heal has left him sidelined for the overwhelming majority of the last two seasons. A second surgery, this time a spinal fusion surgery, was performed in June and now the question isn't just when he will pitch again, but *if* he will pitch again. He will need that perseverance to come back yet again.
Back and shoulder injuries limited Harrison to just two starts in 2013, but early indications are that he'll be healthy for spring training. He had a two-year track record of solid numbers -- 32 wins, 3.33 ERA, 1.27 WHIP -- despite some shaky K/9 and K/BB rates in the two years prior to 2013, and there's no reason to think he can't return to that level in 2014. He makes an excellent rebound candidate as a result, provided he doesn't have any complications following his second procedure to combat thoracic outlet syndrome.
Harrison built upon 2011's unlikely breakout, eclipsing the prior season in every regard. The peripherals don't scream "ace" but it's hard to deny the numbers the past two years: 32 wins, 3.33 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. His groundball inducing ways, right into the teeth of the best left side infield defense in all of baseball, certainly helps. There are safer gambles out there given Harrison's shaky peripherals, but you shouldn't hesitate to pounce if the bidding stops well short of expectations.
Harrison emerged after a few mediocre seasons to win 14 games and post a 3.39 ERA. His peripherals (126:57 K:BB in 185.2 innings) don't point to continued success, though an excellent infield defense will help hide some of his flaws. That said, Harrison maintained the increase in his swinging-strike percentage from 2010 (7.6 percent) and he continues to induce plenty of outs on the ground. He rebounded from a poor August (6.07 ERA, 1.517 WHIP) with an excellent September (2.64 ERA, 1.174 WHIP), so he shouldn't have any issues shouldering a full workload again in 2012 as a member of the rotation.
Harrison began the year in the rotation, but a trip to the DL with biceps tendinitis put a quick end to that in early May and he struggled out of the bullpen upon his return. He walks too many to be an effective lefty specialist, and he's destined to spend another year in middle-to-long relief out of the Texas bullpen as something of a spare part.
Harrison was cuffed around (again) for the most part, though he did have some success early in the season for a string of starts. He battled shoulder injuries, making just two starts after June and eventually underwent surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in July. He was able to come back for a few starts in the AFL, showing good velocity but not much command. His major league career totals aren't very good (147 innings, 181 hits, 76:54 K:BB) despite pitching pretty well in the minors leading up to his debut in 2008. He's too young, and showed enough promise in the minors, to dismiss him completely, though the improved infield defense that Texas now sports won't help him as much as others given his flyball tendencies. He'll compete for a rotation spot this spring, and the shoulder shouldn't be a limiting factor.
Quick quiz: Predict the W/L record for the following stat line: 83.2 innings, 100 hits, 31 walks, 42 K, 5.49 ERA. Let's assume 9-3 wasn't your answer. He'll be a swimmer in the rather large pool of rotation candidates with Texas next spring, which is all you need to know about Texas' pitching. That said, he's a 23-year-old lefty who has had success across his minor league stops, so Harrison has more upside than most of his competition for open spots in the Rangers' rotation.
Harrison was shut down by Texas due to shoulder discomfort after being acquired in the Mark Teixeira trade, but did manage to return to make seven starts in the Arizona Fall League (27 hits, 16 hits, 19:7 K:BB ratio). His numbers at Double-A Mississippi (116.2 innings, 188 hits, 78:34 K:BB ratio) while still with Atlanta were a drop off from his 2006 season in terms of K/9IP, but we can give him a shoulder-related mulligan. He'll see significant time at Triple-A in 2008 and could be ready for a rotation spot at this time next year.
Harrison, a 2003 third-round pick, had an outstanding 114:33 K:BB in 159 innings between High-A and Double-A last season. Scouts rave about his command of three pitches at a young age. A strong full season at Double-A in 2007 could make him a factor in the majors in 2008. He's a minor league keeper to grab as a result.
Harrison showed outstanding control at High-A Rome (118/30 K/BB ratio in 167 innings) and scouts rave about his command of three pitches at a very early age. He could rise quickly in the Atlanta farm system as a result.