Sports

July 6, 2011

Holland's rotation spot not at stake tonight, manager says

Texas Rangers notes

ARLINGTON -- The Texas Rangers haven't considered shifting Derek Holland out of the rotation. At least not yet.

Holland makes his first start tonight against Oakland since the shortest outing of his career, lasting only two-thirds of an inning against Florida on Saturday.

Holland has been inconsistent over the last month. He threw a shutout against Cleveland on June 4, but two starts later gave up six runs over five innings against the Yankees on June 15.

And, in his start before the disastrous outing against the Marlins, he allowed seven runs (three earned) on 12 hits over six innings against the Mets on June 26.

Still, Rangers manager Ron Washington said tonight's start has no bearing on whether Holland will remain in the rotation.

"It's not a conversation we've had," Washington said. "Derek has a ton of talent, and you don't give up on talent. He's only 24, he still has a lot of time to get it together. When it's good, it's good.... When's he going to get consistent? Only Derek is going to tell us that."

That's been the biggest problem for Holland: stringing together quality starts. He will make career start No. 49 tonight, and is 17-21 with a 5.38 ERA in his career.

But Holland is not putting additional pressure on himself.

"I feel great, I got back to my basic stuff and I'm ready to go," Holland said. "I know I need to perform."

Boomstick back

Going into Wednesday's game, Nelson Cruz saw his batting average rise from .221 to .252 over the last 16 games. Over that stretch, he is hitting .353 with eight doubles, one triple and five home runs.

Ron Washington likes how Cruz has shortened his swing, allowing him to turn on balls more easily.

"He's hitting it in the big part of the field," Washington said. "

Reading break

Ian Kinsler remembers a reading program he did one summer where every level reached earned a prize. That's why he launched his Kinsler's Kids Summer Reading Club, encouraging children throughout the area to read books during summer break.

He, along with his wife, Tess, spent Wednesday afternoon at the Dallas Public Library promoting the program.

"The kids were having a lot of fun today," he said. "And my wife used to be an elementary school teacher, so she likes doing things like that."

Traffic update

Starting late Friday night and going through Monday morning, Texas 360 in Arlington will be reduced to one lane going north and south and detoured from the highway at 180/Division Street for the demolition of railroad and turnaround bridges. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes.

Briefly

Ron Washington said he received a letter from the league with a fine for his ejection Sunday when he was tossed, along with Gary Pettis, by umpire Angel Hernandez. "They used special words, but the figures were normal," Washington said with a smile.

The Rangers placed right-hander Dave Bush, who was designated for assignment Friday, on unconditional release waivers.

Follow Drew Davison on Twitter @drewdavison

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

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