A.J. Griffin and the Texas Rangers received good news Wednesday morning after his MRI exam, and the right-hander could be ready to pitch again by the end of the month.
The MRI showed no structural damage in his shoulder, and Griffin can resume throwing as soon as he is free of symptoms. He said that he had something similar in 2012 and missed 26 days.
That’s as positive of information as we could get.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister
He was injured Saturday in the third inning at Detroit as his shoulder tightened and his velocity dipped. Any worry about a significant injury has been alleviated.
“That’s as positive of information as we could get,” manager Jeff Banister said. “Now it becomes how he feels on the throwing side of it and how he responds.”
The Rangers will use the off day Thursday to skip Griffin’s turn in the rotation. Left-hander Martin Perez is scheduled for Friday against Toronto, righty Colby Lewis is set for Saturday, and the Rangers are leaning toward using left-hander Cesar Ramos on Sunday in a spot start.
Lefties Derek Holland and Cole Hamels would throw the first two games at Oakland on Monday and Tuesday. After Sunday, the Rangers can go until May 24 without needing a fifth starter.
They hope Griffin can make that start.
For the record, Holland did not duck out on the media after Tuesday’s 13-11 win, in which he didn’t make it out of the third inning. He waited to speak to reporters, was told by a few that they would catch up with him Wednesday, and only then did he leave.
They did, and Holland told them that although he struggled with his command after a long rain delay, that wasn’t an excuse for him surrendering four runs in the third inning. Though he failed to finish three innings for second straight start, Holland saw a few things to build upon for his next start.
15 Runs allowed by Derek Holland in his past two starts, covering only five innings
“Yeah, the rain came, but that’s a part of the game. The rain was not a factor,” Holland said. “I’m definitely upset with the way I pitched, but at the same time I saw more positives than negatives. The start of the game was excellent.”
Banister said that Holland did not get bumped to Monday rather than pitching on normal rest Sunday because of his recent history against Toronto. The Blue Jays scored 11 runs against him May 5 in 2 2/3 innings.
Trust big for Perez
The buzzword Wednesday for Perez, who will face the Blue Jays for the second time in 10 days when he starts Friday in the series opener, was trust. He said that trusting his pitches will eliminate the long at-bats and innings that bogged him down May 3 at Rogers Centre and Sunday at Detroit.
“I’m just going to make my pitch and trust my stuff,” he said. “If throw a strike and I do my job, I’m going to have a chance to win. I need to throw the pitch I need to throw when I have two strikes. I don’t want to just throw hard. I’m a contact pitcher.”
Perez lasted only five innings in his first start against Toronto, though he didn’t allow a run. He allowed two runs in six innings against Detroit, but he needed 37 pitches in the third inning, 30 after recording the first two outs.
▪ The Rangers optioned righty Anthony Ranaudo to Triple A Round Rock and recalled lefty Andrew Faulkner, who was on the Opening Day roster. Ranaudo walked five in the fourth inning Tuesday, the first five-walk inning by a Rangers reliever since Mitch Williams in 1988.
▪ Yu Darvish (Tommy John surgery) will make his third rehab start Thursday for Triple A Round Rock, going four innings or 60 pitches. He could need two more outings in the minors before coming off the disabled list.