Right-hander Yu Darvish will make a second rehab start Sunday at Double A Frisco, and it could be his last before returning to the Texas Rangers’ rotation after the All-Star break.
Or it might not be his last, and a third rehab start would open the door for another start by Chi Chi Gonzalez, even though he was optioned to Triple A Round Rock.
The decision will depend on how Darvish, on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder tightness, feels Monday after throwing five innings or 75 pitches at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
If Darvish pitches well and is healthy, manager Jeff Banister said that the Rangers would consider activating him for the first series of the second half. If not, Darvish would make another rehab start and possibly not be activated until July 20 or July 22.
That means the Rangers would have two vacancies in their rotation, and Gonzalez would be a candidate for one of them, even though he has an 8.71 ERA after three starts.
“He has to be,” Banister said. “We’re going to get Darvish back at some point, so hopefully that fixes the volatility a bit. In 10 days, we’ll probably need [Gonzalez].”
The Rangers want to see Gonzalez use his sinker more effectively, both in terms of making him more efficient and helping him get back into counts. If he sees his fastball dipping low out of the strike zone, he needs to figure out how to throw it for a strike.
“Be the predator on the mound,” Banister said.
Left-hander Alex Claudio was recalled from Round Rock to give the bullpen another fresh arm. Claudio is making his fourth stint with the Rangers this season.
Left-hander Derek Holland made 25 throws Friday for the first time since he was felled by shoulder inflammation June 20, and said that he will make 25 more throws Saturday from 75 feet.
“I feel great,” said Holland, who is on the 15-day DL.
Right-hander Keone Kela expects to be activated from the 60-day DL once the second half resumes. He threw a scoreless inning Thursday for Frisco and will work back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday.
“If he’s excited, I’m excited,” Banister said. “The sharpness of the breaking ball is probably most impressive. But he’s got to get through these back-to-backs.”
Several Rangers players live near downtown Dallas, and many opted to stay Thursday night in the team hotel in Arlington as a precaution with the possibility that the shooters who killed five police officers were still active.
Outfielder Ryan Rua and his wife took an unusual route to reach their home in Uptown and then learned that the Dallas Police were negotiating with a suspect only a few minutes away.
“We ended up coming back here to stay at the team hotel and just be safe,” Rua said. “There was nothing we could do about it. It’s very sad and devastating that it happened, especially for the police officers and their families.”
The Rangers held a moment of silence for the victims of the shootings before the first pitch Friday, and the proceeds from the Rangers’ 50/50 raffle were to be donated to a nonprofit that intends to assist the victims’ families.
▪ Catcher Bryan Holaday expects to return from the DL the first day he is eligible, July 20. He has been taking batting practice and catching bullpen sessions while on the mend from a bruised left thumb.
▪ The Rangers traded minor league infielder Pedro Ciraco to Miami for left-hander Eric Jokisch, who had been designated for assignment Wednesday and cleared outright waivers Friday. He was assigned to the Round Rock roster.