Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 20, 2012 in Anaheim, California.
With some pitchers already established in the Texas Rangers' rotation and others battling it out for the fifth spot in the rotation, the club has set the first three games' worth of pitchers for their first three Cactus League games starting Friday in Surprise, Ariz., as reported by The Dallas Morning News.
Derek Holland, who is currently slated as the Rangers' No. 3 starter behind Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison, will start the Cactus League opener on Friday against the Kansas City Royals and is expected to pitch two innings, or up to about 35 pitches.
Holland is a little ahead of schedule of most of the Rangers' pitchers since he is scheduled to be a starter for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, which will force him to be absent from Rangers' spring training for up to 17 days beginning on March 2. Holland will be followed in that game by Alexi Ogando, the Rangers' projected No. 4 starter, and Robbie Ross, who was a great rookie option out of the bullpen in 2012 is fighting for that No. 5 spot in the rotation this spring.
In Saturday's game against the Royals, Randy Wells, a darkhorse fifth-starter candidate and possible bullpen option, will get the start followed by lefty Michael Kirkman. In Sunday's finale against the Royals, Harrison will get the starting nod, followed by Nick Tepesch.
The standard workload for all of these pitchers will be two innings and random relievers will fill in the rest of the innings.