SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With Matt Harrison on a schedule that would make him the Opening Day starter, Yu Darvish has been put in position to pitch the second game of the season against the Astros on April 2.
The Rangers still have not made an official announcement on their rotation, and it's not a big secret that Harrison and Darvish are their top two starters. But the Rangers have set up their rotation to start off the season with Darvish following Harrison.
Harrison is scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Dodgers in Surprise. If he pitches every fifth day for the rest of the spring, he would start on March 21 against the Angels, March 26 against the Cubs and March 31 against the Astros on Opening Day in Houston.
Darvish is scheduled to pitch Monday against the Royals in Surprise. If he pitches every fifth day the rest of the way, he would pitch March 23 against the Reds and March 28 against Mexico City at the Ballpark in Arlington. That would put him in position to pitch on April 2 against the Astros in the second game of the season.
The Rangers open the season with a three-game series against the Astros on March 31 and April 2-3. Either Derek Holland or Alexi Ogando will pitch the third game in Houston. The Rangers are off on April 4 before opening at home on April 5 against the Angels.
The question is if the Rangers will bring Harrison back for the home opener or go with either Holland or Ogando. Because the Rangers have two days off during the first week, they don't need a fifth starter until April 9 against the Rays.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.