Say what you want about Derek Holland's numbers before he went on the disabled list. The up-and-down lefty is 5-4 on the season with an ERA over 5.00 and has reverted back to the inconsistency that has plagued his career with the exception of the second half of 2011 when he was one of the best pitchers in the game.
But the Texas Rangers have to be thrilled that he's about ready to re-join their starting rotation as three of the Rangers' five starters from the beginning of the season have been on the disabled list for the past month.
Holland made a rehab start at Triple-A Round Rock on Monday and pitched well, looking great through five innings before giving up three home runs in the sixth. He says he's ready to return to the big-league rotation on Saturday back home against the Minnesota Twins. He's throwing a bullpen session today in Chicago, which will help determine where he'll pitch on Saturday — Arlington or Round Rock.
If Holland makes one more rehab start, which would be a likely request from the Rangers, Yu Darvish would pitch on Saturday as he's scheduled. He'll be on four-days rest for Friday's series opener against the Twins but the Rangers are looking to give the Japanese rookie phenom an extra day of rest heading into his final start before the all-star break.
If Holland starts at Round Rock on Saturday, and Darvish starts in Arlington, then the Rangers would give uber-prospect Martin Perez his second career start on Friday night after the lefty picked up a win in his major-league starting debut against Oakland over the weekend.
A version of pitching musical chairs? Sure. But the Rangers are in a good position here no matter what happens. You get a valuable piece of your starting rotation back or you give perhaps your most valuable arm an extra day off heading into an extended break. Seems like a win-win to me.