Texas Rangers

Holland could start Rangers’ home opener

Derek Holland is unlikely to be ready to open at Oakland.
Derek Holland is unlikely to be ready to open at Oakland. Star-Telegram

The shoulder issue that has kept Derek Holland from appearing in a Cactus League game is likely to 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 against Houston. 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.”

Gallardo strong, Scheppers out

Right-hander Yovani Gallardo allowed one hit in four scoreless innings in a B game at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, another positive step for a starter whose numbers were skewed in the spring-opening whitewash against Kansas City.

Gallardo needed only 46 pitches to carve up a lineup filled mostly with Chicago White Sox minor leaguers and fringe big leaguers. He was touched for two runs on five hits in his spring debut March 4, though sloppy defense didn’t help him.

“I threw strikes, so that’s the most important thing,” Gallardo said. “I threw the ball in and out. In the second start of spring, that’s what you want to do.”

Righty Tanner Scheppers was scratched because of a sprained right ankle suffered Sunday during conditioning.

The Rangers said that Scheppers’ injury is not thought to be serious.

Transaction time

An early-spring out clause in the minor league contract of center fielder Antoan Richardson led the Rangers to purchase his contract to continue their evaluations.

General manager Jon Daniels said that Richardson’s place on the 40-man roster does not indicate that he has jumped ahead in the competition to take a bench spot on the Opening Day roster.

The Rangers moved lefty Martin Perez to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Richardson.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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