Rotation Derby: Someone Has to Go When Yu Returns

When Yu Darvish returns from Tommy John surgery, likely at the end of May, it's going to put the Rangers in the enviable position of having too much starting pitching.

With A.J. Griffin currently on the disabled list but no need for a fifth starter for the rest of the month, he might just slide right back into his spot upon his return after a strong first month following two missed seasons due to injury.

So unless the Rangers move to an unconventional six-man rotation, which has been discussed, someone's going to go and most likely go to the bullpen as the long man.

There are two guys we know it won't be, well, three if you count Darvish. First, it obviously won't be ace Cole Hamels, and it also won't be veteran Colby Lewis, whose injury history and aging body wouldn't take well to the routine, or lack thereof, of being a long man. And truthfully, Lewis has been super reliable so far this year as a starter.

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That leaves Martin Perez and Derek Holland, two lefties who were at one time thought to be a strong No. 2 and No. 3 option in the rotation but are struggling in their own ways this year. Both have spent time as relievers at some point in their big-league careers.

Perez is sitting with a healthy 3.51 ERA in his seven starts, but he seems to be living on borrowed time with the way he's pitching. He either needs to clean up his game a little bit (25 strikeouts to 23 walks) or he's going to start getting lit up on the scoreboard, even though it hasn't happened yet.

Holland was going pretty well but was absolutely rocked in his last two starts and just seems to be pitching without any confidence right now.

Perez goes again Friday against Toronto, and Holland starts Monday against the A's, and the two could be competing over the next couple of weeks for a spot in the rotation if things fall like they should.

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