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Soft mattress might prevent Matt Harrison from making Rangers opening-day roster

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(AP)

Matt Harrison made two starts in 2013 before needing surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back. Later on, Harrison needed a second back surgery to fix what doctors couldn't before.

The tricky process of keeping Harrison's back healthy continues at Texas Rangers camp, where Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that Harrison probably won't be ready for the start of the season. Harrison's back has been acting up again, and will cause him to miss about 10 days of work. The flareup was caused by a rogue mattress:

[Harrison] said he believed his recent bout of back stiffness was caused by a too-soft mattress in his spring rental home. He’s since switched beds in the house and the pain has abated. It’s also possible that not doing any pitching since switching beds has had an impact on how he feels, too.

Either way, given the Rangers desire to be cautious, Harrison expects he’ll miss at least one start at the beginning of the season.

Never skimp on those beds, major leaguers. And harder is usually better when it comes to mattresses.

Harrison will see the Rangers' spine specialist Monday, but is optimistic he'll be ready to pitch by mid-April. The way the Rangers' schedule sets up, Harrison might only miss one start. The rotation also includes Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Alexi Ogando — with Nick Tepesch and Tommy Hanson also figuring as possibilities.

Regardless of the team's depth, Harrison says the team remains on "high alert" because of the time he missed a season ago. Harrison is 28, and two seasons ago he was an All-Star pick who got Cy Young votes after finishing with a 3.29 ERA in 32 starts. The Rangers would be OK going to the mattresses without Harrison for a while but, when healthy, he's a huge X-factor for the their rotation.

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David Brown edits Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.comand follow him on Twitter!

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David Brown edits Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.comand follow him on Twitter!
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