Rangers’ Holland sharp in first rehab start

Rangers pitcher Derek Holland.  

Kevin Jairaj/Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

FRISCO, Texas – Derek Holland made this look easy in his first rehab start since microfracture surgery on his left knee.

Almost too easy.

The Texas left-hander pitched two hitless innings for Double-A Frisco Wednesday, striking out four and walking two in his 33-pitch outing against Midland. Holland was so effective there was little chance for Holland to test his left knee.

"I moved around," Holland said. "I made sure when the ball got hit I was moving so people weren’t thinking I was stiff legged. I made sure I was moving around. The knee is great. We’re good."

There were no issues with Holland’s arm. His fastball was consistently in the low 90s and topped out at 94 mph. He got a popup to second to the game’s first batter and then struck out the next. After a walk he ended the first with a strikeout of Jefrey Marte.

He walked the leadoff batter in the second inning but then came back with strikeouts of Dusty Coleman and Bruce Maxwell before a grounder to third ended the second inning.

"I felt really good," he said. "The main thing was to try and go out there and get back in the swing of things. The first time out, very excited, a lot of adrenalin flowing. The main thing is I wanted to execute my pitches. I felt like overall, a couple of bad walks, but for the most part I felt good about how I was able to do everything."

Holland will likely make another rehab start Monday. Frisco is off Monday but Holland could pitch for Round Rock with three innings or 50 pitches the likely plan.

His goal is to pitch for the Rangers this year but that’s out of his control.

"You’ll see me at the ballpark," Holland said. "I don’t know when. That’s up to those guys (management). I’ve got to do what they tell me, step-by-step, one start at a time."