KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers are moving Rich Harden to the bullpen and Derek Holland is going to the rotation. Holland will start on Friday against the Twins. The Rangers informed Harden of the decision before Monday's game against the Royals. "It was two-fold," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "One is we've had inconsistencies out of the fifth starter the last few times through. We're trying to mix and match to find the right chemistry. We're going to give Derek another chance. This also gives us another right-hander out of the bullpen with Frankie [Francisco] out."
Harden is 2-2 with a 3.54 ERA in his last four starts and 5-5 with a 5.17 ERA in 17 starts this season while missing over two months because of a strained muscle in his lower back and inflammation in his left shoulder. Harden has made 144 career starts and just eight relief appearances in his Major League career. He hasn't pitched in relief since 2007. Holland is 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances this season in three separate tours of duty with the Rangers. He was also 6-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 11 starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Harden started on Saturday against the Athletics and lasted just 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits in a 5-0 loss. Holland took over and allowed one run on three hits in 42/3 innings.