The Rangers will wait a few days before determining who will start Friday’s series opener against the Red Sox at Globe Life Park.
One thing is for sure: it won’t be Yu Darvish. The right-hander has yet to throw from a mound since going on the disabled list with a sore neck and right shoulder. Potential options for Friday include A.J. Griffin, Nick Martinez and Cesar Ramos.
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It’d be nice to give everybody an extra day. Given where we’re at, the long road trip, and getting ready to go on another long road trip.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister
Manager Jeff Banister said the club will remain conservative with Darvish, who has made three starts since returning from Tommy John surgery.
Darvish threw long toss from 105 feet Sunday and has warmed up with a 6- ounce ball before playing catch. A game ball weights 5.25 ounces.
Banister said the soreness Darvish is feeling is a normal part of the process for a pitcher returning from ligament surgery.
“It’s probably something Darvish is not necessarily used to. It’s been awhile since he’s felt anything like that,” Banister said. “We’ll let him work through that. We’re OK with that. He’s going to let us know how he feels. This is just part of that [returning process]. It’s not always going to be clean. It doesn’t work out that way.”
2.94 A.J. Griffin’s ERA in six starts for the Rangers before going on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness May 8.
Griffin made his third rehab start for Double A Frisco on Sunday afternoon, and if he feels good Monday he’ll likely get the nod.
No matter who gets the start, Banister wants to give his regular rotation pitchers an extra day’s rest with Thursday being the first off day after 20 consecutive games.
“The intriguing part is having a guy like A.J. Griffin that is pitching and his experience and what he’s done for us this year,” he said. “You want to take a look at it and see where he’s at.”
Griffin has been on the DL since May 8 with right shoulder stiffness. He’s also returning from Tommy John surgery in April 2014, and before this season previously pitched in the majors in 2013. He was 3-0 with a 2.94 ERA in six starts this year before being sidelined.
Up and down
Left-hander Derek Holland is hoping to snap out of another rough patch. After four solid starts, Holland struggled in his last two starts, allowing a combined nine earned runs on nine hits and five walks over 8 2/3 innings.
If his trend in 2016 continues he should respond well Monday against the Orioles, who are in town to make up a rainout from May. He allowed 15 earned runs combined in his first two starts in May before putting together four solid outings.
“I hit a wall. I had a really good first month and then it’s been a few rough starts here and there and then a good one. I’m just trying to turn that around and get on the other side,” Holland said. “Stuff is going to turn around. It’s just a matter of time now.”
Holland said he’s not concerned that the velocity of his fastball is down a tad from previous seasons. “I’m very confident with everything I’ve got. I know I’ve got a lot of weapons I just need to use them and make that stuff take care of itself when I get out there.”
Nomar Mazara’s sacrifice fly to center field that scored Ian Desmond in the first inning Sunday was his sixth of the season, tied with Jose Abreu for the American League lead. The Rangers lead the AL with 27 sac flies.