Ross Wolf part of Rangers’ rotation plans to open second half

Posted Sunday, Jul. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Ross Wolf has claimed a spot in the Texas Rangers’ rotation to open the second half, but manager Ron Washington cautioned Sunday to not write the names down in ink.

Derek Holland will open the second half Friday against Baltimore, and Martin Perez and Wolf will follow, though not necessarily in that order. Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando would pitch July 22-23 against New York, as long as both are healthy enough to do so.

If not, Justin Grimm, if he’s healthy, would make a start. Otherwise, he’s headed to the bullpen as Wolf gets another shot to be a starting pitcher.

“I think he’s earned it,” Washington said. “That could be one start. That could be two starts. That’s the way we’re going right now.”

Wolf is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts covering 11 innings. His longest outing was 6 2/3 innings as the Rangers’ long man June 8 in an 18-inning game at Toronto, and he has a 1.99 ERA in 22 2/3 relief innings.

Grimm, meanwhile, has seen his ERA balloon to 6.37 after allowing seven runs Friday in 3 1/3 innings. He left early because of tightness in his forearm near the elbow, but, as of Sunday, he wasn’t expected to hit the disabled list.

He played catch before the finale at Comerica Park.

“He could have finished pitching,” Washington said. “It didn’t bother him when he threw.”

Darvish, who reported no problems Saturday with his right trapezius muscle after throwing, is expected back to open the Yankees series, but Ogando isn’t a certainty.

He will pitch if his rehab start Thursday at Triple A goes well. He is on a limit of six innings or 95 pitches.

No nod

Speculation that Derek Holland could be named to the American League All-Star team as a replacement for one of the three starting pitchers who worked Sunday dominated the morning media session with Ron Washington.

It was all for naught, though, as Detroit manager Jim Leyland bypassed the left-hander to take over for either Bartolo Colon, Justin Verlander or Hisashi Iwakuma.

“There are a lot of guys with really good number as well,” said Holland, who finished the first half 8-4 with a 3.08 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings.

Stealing the mark

A ninth-inning steal of second base gave Ian Kinsler the all-time Rangers franchise mark with 162, bumping Bump Wills from the top of the chart.

But it might not be long until Kinsler, who tied the mark June 20, is looking up again.

“Hopefully I can hold on for the rest of the year,” the second baseman said.

Kinsler knows that shortstop Elvis Andrus is chasing him down. Andrus, already with 19 steals this season, trails Kinsler by 20. It might not happen this season, but trends suggest it’s going to happen.

“I’ll get it some time,” Andrus said. “Probably pretty soon.”

Baker is a go

Utility man Jeff Baker will play the next three days at Double A Frisco to complete his rehab from a sprained right thumb and is expected to be ready to come off the DL to start the second half.

Baker said that he isn’t too concerned about his timing, because as a part-time player he knows how to manage infrequent playing time. The key is keeping the thumb, damaged last month by a high-five gone bad, healthy.

“As long as the thumb doesn’t hurt,” he said. “The time, I’m not concerned about that. It’s not that big of a deal.”

It’ll be a star-studded week at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Outfielder Craig Gentry (broken left hand) opened a rehab assignment Sunday, and right-hander Colby Lewis (triceps tendinits) will make a rehab start Wednesday.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson

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