Rangers dealing with injuries as summer nears
ARLINGTON, Texas — Lefty Derek Holland threw his second bullpen session Friday since being placed on the DL with left elbow fatigue.
The injury was related to Holland’s bout with a stomach virus, but Holland says he feels healthy as a horse — and is eating like one, too.
“I’m packing on the weight, that’s the main thing,” Holland said. “Everything is back to normal. I’ve been eating a lot. They’ve got me working out and running, doing everything like normal. But I’m just trying to eat as much as possible.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington said there’s no timetable for when Holland would be sent out on a rehab assignment.
“I think we’re just going to continue to monitor him and when we feel he’s ready, we’ll make the move to get him out of here,” Washington said. “But we’re certainly not rushing him. We want to make sure that with everything we do, when he does go he doesn’t come back to the DL.”
Two other injured pitchers continued to make progress. Alexi Ogando (groin strain) began throwing long toss Friday and Koji Uehara (rib cage muscle strain) was to begin throwing Saturday. Neftali Feliz (elbow inflammation) still has not thrown, but Washington advised his rehab is “going to be very slow.”
Moreland placed on DL
The Rangers placed first baseman Mitch Moreland on the 15-day disabled list Friday, although an MRI revealed his hamstring injury could be a 4-6 week rehab.
Moreland strained his left hamstring running to first Tuesday in San Diego.
The Rangers still have plenty of options at first base: Mike Napoli, who started there Friday, has made 16 starts at first. Michael Young has made 12 starts there and reserve Brandon Snyder has started five times at first.
The only complication is that all three players are right-handed hitters.
Moreland has never had a hamstring injury before. He said he consulted with Adrian Beltre and Michael Young about dealing with the injury. So far, his rehab has consisted of ice and ultrasound treatments.
“I’m just going to trust in my trainers and let them tell me what they think I need to be doing, and do it,” Moreland said.
No pitch count for Oswalt
Washington has just one expectation of veteran righthander Roy Oswalt in his first Rangers start Friday.
“Same thing I expect out of them all: just keep us in the ballgame,” Washington said. “Nothing particular, just keep us in the ballgame. He’s got the ball until we have to take it from him, or he’s had enough. It’s not like he’s on a pitch count.”
To make room for Oswalt on the 40-man roster, the Rangers designated pitcher Mark Hamburger for assignment. Hamburger had spent the entire season at Triple-A Round Rock, going 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA.
The Heat is on
With temperatures expected to hit 100 degrees by Sunday, that means a change in the pregame routine for the Rangers.
The Rangers will not take batting practice outside Saturday, a 2:05 p.m. start. The Rangers will then alternate their batting practice plans as they begin a 10-game homestand Friday.
“We’ll probably go out for a little while Sunday, not Monday, then just go back and forth,” Washington said. “It’s supposed to get in the 100s here pretty soon. We certainly won’t be out there in 100-degree weather.”
The scoreboard thermometer read 95 degrees as the Rangers began batting practice Friday.
Hollywood comes to Arlington
With the news that Josh Hamilton’s life story is going to be the basis of a movie, speculation is rampant on who will play key roles in the movie, most of all the role of Hamilton himself.
“I don’t know, they better be in pretty good shape, that’s all I’ve got to say,” Moreland said. “He’s a freak, what he does on a baseball field. It’s special to watch him day-to-day.”
Rangers may have several All-Stars on the AL staff
Washington, the AL manager for this year’s All-Star game, may end up with a couple of his own pitchers again on his All-Star staff.
Matt Harrison (9-4) and Yu Darvish (9-3) have the wins to be considered, but with Washington allowed to pick at least five of the pitchers, staff bulldog Colby Lewis (6-5, 3.00 ERA) might be rewarded.
“I just hope I can go into an All-Star Game with all my bullets,” said Washington, who could not use many of the AL’s top aces last year because of schedule conflicts “Then maybe I might end up having a chance to beat the National League. I can’t beat the National League; I haven’t.”
It was pointed out that the Rangers are 12-3 against the NL this season, with the best winning percentage in interleague play in 2012.
“Yeah, but I haven’t when it mattered,” Washington quipped.
Then Washington noted that the All-Star Game is in Kansas City this year.
“We have the DH this time around, though.”
Grimm reaping in knowledge from veterans
Rookie pitcher Justin Grimm is soaking up as much as he can from the Rangers’ veterans. While he’s soaking it in, it has sunk in that he’s in the majors after winning his MLB debut last weekend.
“I think it hit me after I got to my hotel room, the night after the start,” Grimm said. “I was like, wow, I just won my major league debut. That’s pretty crazy.”
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire