Left-hander Derek Holland went though an extensive on-field workout Wednesday at Target Field, which included agility drills and pitchers’ fielding practice, as the Rangers tested the status of his injured left knee.
Holland admitted that there is still some work to do before he is allowed to head out on a rehab assignment. He hopes to be cleared after two more weeks.
“Everything was much more improved,” Holland said. “The next step is still up to them. I don’t have a say. There’s still some things that we have to take care of. This is coming from me, but I’m hoping after this road trip and the next homestand I can get out of here. I’m trying to push for sooner.”
Of the difficulties Holland is still facing, one is fielding bunts to third base and another is pushing off his left leg when making throws to the bases. He is not having trouble pushing off while pitching, and he continues to throw bullpen sessions.
“Unbeknownst to him, he’s not pushing off it,” said Washington, who monitored the fielding drills. “He’s just got to keep working until he gets used to the new leg. He’s got the strength. What we’ve got to do now is get him with the proper mobility.”
Left-hander Aaron Poreda had done all that the Rangers asked him to do, and done it well, but he drew the short straw and was sent to Triple A Round Rock to make room for Joe Saunders to come off the disabled list.
Poreda has options remaining, and that more than anything else is why he was sent down.
“Those are tough moves,” Washington said. “But he understood. He’s a class act.”
Poreda, the hardest thrower on the pitching staff, earned his first two big-league victories since 2009 after his April promotion and leaves with a 3.38 ERA.
Briefly• The Rangers claimed right-hander Phil Irwin from Pittsburgh and optioned him to Triple A Round Rock. Irwin, 27, underwent elbow surgery, though not Tommy John, in 2013 and was 1-2 with a 8.72 ERA in 10 games/two starts with Triple A Indianapolis. He entered the season with a career 3.09 ERA in the minors. The Rangers also acquired infielder Jason Donald from Kansas City for depth at Round Rock.
• First baseman Mitch Moreland will host a youth baseball camp June 24 from 9 a.m. to noon at Dallas Hillcrest High School. Cost of the camp is $99. Visit procamps.com/MitchMoreland for more info.