The Phillies have a very young arsenal of pitching, much of which was acquired during last season's firesale. But there is a void for veteran leadership, and Matt Harrison won't be providing it. At least not any time soon.
“We’re not expecting him to be here any time soon, if at all this year,” Phillies GM Matt Klentak said in Clearwater Wednesday. “If things go well, we’ll be happy to get him back, but the reality is we’re kind of in a wait-and-see mode and we have to let it play out.”
Harrison came to Philly in the monster Cole Hamels deal, along with five prospects. Though they were hoping for a veteran arm, they were mostly acquiring $33 million in his salary in order to receive the package of prospects that included Jerad Eickhodd, Jake Thompson, Nick Williams and others.
The 30-year-old has had injury problems in each of the last three seasons, most of them back issues. He appeared in just nine games combined during that time. He is still dealing with lingering woes from two surgeries.
Prior to the struggles of the last three years, Harrison was a solid member of the Rangers rotation winning 14 and 18 games in 2011 and 2012 respectively with an ERA in the low 3-range.
It isn't all bad though. The Phillies, if Harrison does miss the season, should be able to recoup some of that salary money through insurance.
The rest of the Phillies' pitchers and catchers reported to Clearwater Wednesday, with workouts slated to begin Friday.