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Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Colby Lewis builds stamina, Holland throws

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Slowly, the Texas Rangers' injured pitching staff is getting healthy. Yu Darvish's neck isn't bothering him anymore and he's pitching Sunday in Tampa. Colby Lewis is getting his arm strength up, crossing the 90-pitch barrier in Tuesday's minor league start. And Derek Holland, who insists that June is still realistic for his return from knee surgery, threw a bullpen for the first time Wednesday. Oh, and Matt Harrison will get up to 65 pitches, which the club hopes is four innings, on Thursday at Double-A Frisco.

At first glance, Lewis' numbers don't seem encouraging. He gave up 10 hits and allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings pitching for Double-A Frisco against Triple-A Round Rock. But the fact that he threw 92 pitches, walked just one batter and got through the outing with no physical issues is what pleased manager Ron Washington. And he was happy with the report he got on Lewis.

"He had a sharp breaking ball," Washington said. "He left some fastballs up in the zone a little bit, but that's expected. The thing is he's constantly getting his stamina up. His stroke was good. We're not so worried about the results with Colby."

Washington said the club hasn't discussed the plan now for Lewis, but will do so shortly.

For Holland, Wednesday was the first step in a building full of winding stairs. But he threw a bullpen session for the first time since his January knee surgery. It's too early to determine a definitive timetable, though Holland has always pointed toward June. The club is only saying "midseason." Holland will go to Surprise, Ariz., and throw again Saturday.

Harrison will be the Opening Day starter for Frisco on Thursday. It's the first of two outings of 65 pitches or four innings for him.

Rosales takes outright assignment: Infielder Adam Rosales has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock. He was left off the Opening Day roster in favor of Josh Wilson and Donnie Murphy.

Engel Beltre has surgery: Outfielder Engel Beltre had a rod inserted in his right leg to stabilize the tibia. He's likely out two months or so.