Sunday, July 8, 2012
Buzz: Derek Holland to lead rotation
By Clint Foster
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ron Washington has tentatively set the Texas Rangers pitching rotation for after the All-Star break. Barring changes over the break, Washington said that Derek Holland would lead the rotation, followed by Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Roy Oswalt and Colby Lewis.
Washington said that a big incentive for having this rotation is so that Holland, Darvish and Harrison can start in the series against the Los Angeles Angels on July 20-22.
Washington said he plans to pitch each of his All-Star pitchers no more than one inning in Kansas City, with the starter likely pitching two innings. He said that if Darvish or Harrison had to take on an unusually high work load in the All-Star game or a freak injury occurred during the break, then the rotation would change.
Lewis (forearm) is progressing well in his rehab and is on track to pitch after the break with no problems. He is set to start the Rangers' second game in a two-game series with the Oakland A's on on July 18. Washington said he is happy with Lewis' progress and wants him to get as much rest as possible.
"His bullpen (session) was top notch yesterday," Washington said. "We'll push him to the back and give him as much time as we can."
Neftali Feliz (elbow) is still on pace to return late this month after throwing a bullpen session Saturday. Feliz will throw one last bullpen session in the Dominican Republic on Monday to ensure he is ready to progress. Washington said the plan is for Feliz to throw live batting practice Thursday and then, if all goes well, get his first rehab start Saturday or Sunday. Washington said Feliz would rehab as a starter, but he declined to comment on whether Feliz would return to the starting rotation when healthy.
"We've got to keep all our options open," Washington said. "We'll get him stretched out and when he's ready to go, then we'll have a decision to make."
* Alexi Ogando (groin) will throw a final bullpen session with Feliz at the Rangers Dominican Republic Academy on Monday. If everything checks out, Ogando should make rehab appearances Thursday and Saturday before he rejoins the Rangers July 17 for their series in Oakland.
* Koji Uehara is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Thursday to see how he has progressed and if he can move on in his rehab. Washington said the Rangers are being cautious with Uehara's shoulder injury. Mark Lowe (intercostal muscle) hopes to start a throwing program during the Rangers' road series with the Seattle Mariners after the All-Star break.
* Washington chose to stick with his winning lineup from Saturday night for the first half finale. He said in particular that he wants to keep riding Craig Gentry's "hot hand." Washington said he hopes the success of last night's lineup will carry over tonight.
"We've just got to go out there and get it done," Washington said. "We lost five in a row and you don't know the feelings we were having losing. We don't know what that's like, not like that. We got a win so we're feeling better and it would be nice to get one today. And those guys that aren't going to the All-Star game, they need those four days bad. The break couldn't have come at a better time."
* Washington and the other coaches and players involved in the All-Star game, including Twins catcher Joe Mauer, will all leave together after tonight's game to fly to Kansas City for the All-Star festivities.