Rangers set rotation; Darvish to start March 7

Rangers set rotation; Darvish to start March 7

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish will make his first start of the Cactus League against the Padres on March 7 in Peoria.

Darvish, who threw 34 pitches of live batting practice on Monday, will be starting the fourth game of the team's Cactus League schedule. Colby Lewis and Scott Feldman are pitching the opener on March 4 against the Royals.

They will be followed by Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando against the Royals on March 5 and Matt Harrison against the D-backs on March 6. Darvish will pitch against the Padres on March 7, and Neftali Feliz will start March 8 against the White Sox.

Manager Ron Washington said that's how they will open up the Cactus League but that's not necessarily how they will open the season. Washington said he would like to "split" his two left-handers, Holland and Harrison. The Rangers will most likely do that by moving up Darvish at some point during Spring Training.

That would allow the Rangers to open the season with Lewis, Holland, Darvish, Harrison and Feliz in that order. But the Rangers are still going to stretch out Ogando in Spring Training so he could step into the rotation if necessary.

"I want his focus on starting," Washington said. "We haven't said anything to anybody. We want him stretched out and ready. You never know what will happen."