Red Fever
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Bullpen Set To Take On Added Pressure

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Matt Harrison might be ready by mid-April. Colby Lewis could be in the same boat, and that might be a best-case scenario. Derek Holland might be back by June, but more likely sometime around the all-star break in July. As you can tell, the Texas Rangers' starting rotation is in a bit of a rough spot right with less than two weeks to go before Opening Day.

    So when the games start counting on March 31, and Yu Darvish takes the hill at Globe Life Park, the Rangers will be in good shape. The next day, they'll likely send Martin Perez to the mound. After that, who knows?

    Until guys like Harrison and even Lewis can hopefully get back within the season's first month, the Rangers will be piecing together the back third of their rotation with guys like Joe Saunders, Alexi Ogando, Tommy Hanson and maybe even last year's setup man Tanner Scheppers.

    While those guys are starting, specifically Scheppers, the Rangers' relievers might have to carry some extra weight early in the season in terms of workload. That's been an issue in past year, but it's been more by Ron Washington's judgment and his tendency to ride his key relievers. This year, he won't have a choice as guys like Jason Frasor, Robbie Ross, Neal Cotts and perhaps Ogando will be called upon early and often as the Rangers try to tread water until reinforcements come.