Rangers left-hander Derek Holland felt great after a 63-pitch rehab start for Double A Frisco on Sunday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Despite allowing seven hits, including a three-run homer in the first inning, Holland was pleased with his progress. It was his third rehab start. He’ll start again on Friday for Frisco.
A strained muscle in his left shoulder since his first start in April has kept him on the sidelines.
“I don’t really read into the lines,” Holland said of his 31/3 innings. “We saw what happened last year. It’s all about me getting prepared for the big leagues, not to be prepared for Double A and Triple A.”
Holland returned from a knee injury after missing much of the 2014 season and pitched well in September for the Rangers.
Two infield singles were part of a 25-pitch first inning that included a three-run homer on the seventh pitch to Alberth Martinez. Holland worked a 1-2-3 second, including a strikeout looking on a 94 mph fastball on the outside corner. Martinez later hit another homer off Lendy Castillo.
After walking the leadoff hitter in the fourth, Holland recorded his fifth strikeout before leaving because of the pitch count.
“Everything was there. I feel strong,” said Holland, who noted that catcher Patrick Cantwell told him that his fastball had a lot of movement. “So I’m very happy with that.”
The main focus, Holland said, is how he feels after throwing. So far, so good. He feels prepared to return to the Rangers after his Friday rehab start, but the club will determine when he’s ready.
“You feel left out. You feel like a ghost,” Holland said of missing most of the past two seasons. “This year is different because we’re actually in it. These guys are competing their butts off and I want to be a part of it. I wanted to be a part of it when they were losing and I want to be part of it when they’re winning. This is a team game and this is my family, so I want to do whatever it takes.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760