It's been a rough 18 months or so for Rangers lefty Derek Holland.
If you recall, Holland took a tumble down his stairs after tripping over his dog in January 2014 that required microfracture surgery. He made his 2014 debut in September and lit up the competition in his limited action. That caused all sorts of excitement about Holland for 2015, and that lasted nine pitches.
Holland left after allowing one run in the first inning of the Rangers' home debut — his season debut — and hasn't pitched since due to a subscapular shoulder strain that could only be healed by extensive rest.
On Thursday, that rest will come to an end as Holland will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Round Rock before coming back and pitching a game for Double-A Frisco. After that, he'll make one more start for Round Rock and then, if all is well, will return to the Rangers presumably on the weekend of Aug. 14-16 against Tampa Bay.
The 28-year-old threw 37 innings in six September appearances last year (five starts) and compiled a 1.46 ERA with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5:1. He was projected as the Rangers' No. 2 starter in 2015 and then the No. 1 after Yu Darvish went down with Tommy John surgery in spring training.