The shoulder issue that has kept Derek Holland from appearing in a Cactus League game will likely keep him from starting the Texas Rangers’ season opener, but he could be ready four days later for the home opener.
Holland returned to the mound Wednesday, throwing an incident-free bullpen session for the first time since feeling mild soreness late last month. If he doesn’t experience any discomfort Thursday, he would likely make his spring debut Saturday.
But because he has missed two starts, manager Jeff Banister doesn’t think Holland will be ready to start April 6 at Oakland. And that’s OK.
“I think it would be a push to say that Derek would be ready for Games 1, 2 or 3,” Banister said. “I wouldn’t want to push that envelope personally.”
The Rangers play four games at the run-down O.co Coliseum before playing for the first time at Globe Life Park on April 10. Giving Holland the start at home could be a nice reward for him and the fans, Banister said without committing to the idea.
“When he’s ready and capable, that’s when he’ll start,” Banister said. “If that’s the home opener, that’s the home opener. That wouldn’t be a bad thing for him. I think it would be a plus for him.”
Holland said that he could probably get ready for the season opener, a start that is trending toward going to Yovani Gallardo, but will stick to the schedule mapped out by pitching coach Mike Maddux.
Holland was just pleased to be back on a mound, and reported no problems with his shoulder.
“Everything’s good, real good,” he said. “I feel very good about it.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760