Derek Holland is going to be sprung from the disabled list Tuesday as long as he does one thing Sunday: plays catch without any soreness in his left shoulder.
That sounds easy, right? But as Holland knows, staying healthy hasn’t been his strength.
But when he’s healthy, he can be very good and would be an upgrade to the Rangers’ rotation for the stretch run.
Always looking to improve his club, general manager Jon Daniels hopes he found an upgrade to the Rangers’ offense for the stretch run.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from an 8-2 loss Saturday.
1. Carlos Gomez could be with the Texas Rangers as soon as Thursday. He could be the 2016 version of Jeff Francoeur, maybe something even more impactful, or the 2016 version of Cristian Guzman.
If he’s Francoeur, Gomez will play against left-handed pitchers and hit at three-run homer the day after the Rangers clinch the American League West.
If he’s Guzman, a complete bust, at least Gomez won’t cost the Rangers an unheralded pitching prospect named Tanner Roark.
The Rangers will owe Gomez just north or $100,000, a price that made a gamble on him worthwhile. The Rangers believe there is a lot of talent still left in Gomez, a speedy outfielder who has some pop. He finished second in WAR in 2013 behind only Mike Trout.
The Rangers received favorable reports on the kind of teammate Gomez is, though some in Houston might disagree. Some in Arlington might disagree. The Rangers like that Gomez has played with Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress, and hope they can make him feel at home.
If Gomez is good, he’s better than Delino DeShields, Drew Stubbs and Ryan Rua. If Gomez continues to stink, the Rangers need to see it quickly and cut him loose.
But they intend to find out if Gomez can help them down the stretch.
2. The Gomez signing riled up the folks from Houston, at least according to the Twitter. Their biggest fear is that Gomez, who stunk it up with the Astros, somehow finds his All-Star form again and wins a World Series with the Rangers.
The Rangers, of course, have to put away Seattle first. One of those playoff probability charts gave the Rangers a 97 percent chance of making the playoffs and a 91 percent chance of winning the American League West.
The numbers seem to support that. For instance, to reach 90 wins the Rangers must win 17 of their final 38 games. The Mariners entered Saturday needing to win 25 of their final 41 games to hit 90.
The teams have seven head-to-head games remaining. The Mariners are playing every bit as well as the Rangers, maybe a tick better, as they roll through a very easy portion of their schedule.
The Rangers never said a repeat of their West title was going to be easy. At this point, despite a cozy division lead and what some of the numbers say, it doesn’t feel like it will be easy.
3. A scout who saw A.J. Griffin pitch last weekend against Detroit said that nothing the right-hander does says that he should be pitching in the major leagues. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, and not the first scout to say as much this season.
Yet, Griffin continues to pitch every fifth day or so and will until Colby Lewis is allowed to come off the disabled list. That could mean two more starts for Griffin if Lewis is good to go after only two rehab starts.
Griffin gave the Rangers more than they could have expected early in the season, but has given them about what they could have expected since coming off the DL in late June. He’s given them a chance most starts, and the Rangers have a 6-5 record in his starts since he returned to health.
He pitched decently in losing to the Rays, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings. Two of the runs came on solo homers, which doesn’t come as a surprise but still comes as a disappointment.
Foes have at least one homer in all 11 of his starts off the DL, and he has allowed nine homers in four start this month.
Not exactly awe-inspiring, but Griffin could be down to his final two starts of the season.