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Sunday, April 3, 2011
Notes: Holland starts Monday, bullpen talk

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rather than break up lefties Matt Harrison and Derek Holland by putting Alexi Ogando in between them, the Rangers are going with Holland as the No. 4 starter against Seattle followed by Ogando as the No. 5.

That does allow them to put a righty between Holland and C.J. Wilson on the turn. Pitching coach Mike Maddux isn't concerned about breaking them up, so he'll go with Holland's experience against Erik Bedard in the first game of the Seattle series and Ogando will make his first start on Tuesday.

Other notes:

* Michael Young is playing second base today, his first time in the infield this season. He could also play first base soon, maybe even tomorrow againt the lefty Bedard. More on that shortly.

* The Rangers do not plan on skipping starts. Maddux is sticking with his plan from last year, which is to utilize the off days to give guys extra rest. It worked well with the rotation in 2010, so why change it?

* Pedro Strop was pleased that he was able to get in a game in 2011 and have some success. "One thing I was working on was slowing things down and I did OK with that," Strop said. "Even though I got some big league time last year, I was still nervous the first time out there."

Strop got through his inning and said he was able to throw his sinker and slider for strikes and got a few swings and misses on splitters in the dirt.

* Andres Blanco is the emergency catcher and he's catching some bullpens and working on things to be ready just in case. That became more important with the Matt Treanor trade.

* Darren O'Day was also glad to be back "on the mound that I know and love." O'Day has liked pitching at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. "It was good to get that under my belt," O'Day said. "My mechanics are better than they were in spring training. Pitching in the regular season is totally different from a game in Surprise."