Derek Holland lasted exactly one inning — nine pitches — of his 2015 debut in the Rangers' home opener. Then, it was back to the disabled list, a place he's been a lot lately, with a shoulder strain.
On Tuesday in Denver, Holland threw 35 pitches to live hitters, his first attempt at that since the injury, and the Rangers' projected ace after Yu Darvish went down in spring training said he's ready to go out on a rehab assignment.
“In my mind, me speaking, I’m ready to go,” Holland told reporters on Tuesday. “I feel good. I feel confident and I’m going to keep pushing to get out there. I want to help this team. I wanted them to see that the arm is fine and that I’m ready. Maybe they think I need to do more, but in my mind, I’m ready.”
The Rangers want to take a slightly more cautious approach than Holland's stance, but manager Jeff Banister did say he was impressed with what he saw from the lefty.
“He had really good energy on the mound and lots of late movement on his fastball,” Banister said. “The velocity was explosive.”
Holland's projected return has long been early or mid August, and that probably won't change much, especially with the way the team has fallen off the pace in the postseason race this month. But with Martin Perez and Matt Harrison already back in the fold, the Rangers' rotation will soon have a completely different look than we saw early in the season.