Since going on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and a nasty stomach bug following a June 5 start in Oakland that saw his fastball velocity dip below 90 mph, Derek Holland has made two rehab starts and has even suggested he's ready to come back to the big-boy club this weekend.
Holland made his second rehab start for Triple-A Round Rock on Monday night and was scheduled to throw five innings, or 85 pitches. The lefty breezed through the first five innings, allowing just three baserunners over that time before hitting a wall in the sixth, when he gave up three home runs.
In all though, Holland's start was promising, as his fastball was hitting 93 and 94 mph, which is about right for him. You also have to believe the five-inning performance was a more accurate sample of where Holland is in his rehab process than the five-run sixth inning with his pitch count creeping up.
So far this year, Holland is 5-4 with a 5.10 ERA and has 59 strikeouts to go with 24 walks in 11 starts for the Rangers. Although he's claiming he's ready to come back, he's scheduled to throw a bullpen in Chicago while the Rangers visit the White Sox and be re-evaluated, after which he'll most likely be sent back to Round Rock for one more final tuneup before returning after the all-star break in Seattle.