Darvish's next throwing session to help map return

Darvish's next throwing session to help map return

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' plan was to meet after their Opening Day game with the Phillies and discuss a plan for pitcher Yu Darvish, who is on the disabled list with stiffness in his neck.

Darvish, after throwing without any problems on Saturday and Sunday, is expected to have another throwing session on Tuesday, and he is eligible to come off the disabled list as early as Saturday. Darvish will likely need at least a simulated game against hitters before he's ready to come off the disabled list, and rookie Nick Martinez is still scheduled to pitch that day against the Rays.

"We're just going to be smart about it," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Yu may miss one start, at a minimum, but we want to keep that number down."

Matt Harrison, who missed almost all of last season with a herniated disk in his lower back, is scheduled to start Thursday for Double-A Frisco. Harrison, who also opened the season on the disabled list, probably needs four more starts in the Minor Leagues before he is an option for the Rangers' rotation.

Colby Lewis will start Tuesday in a Minor League exhibition game between Triple-A Round Rock and Frisco. The Rangers will decide after that game if he is ready to come off the disabled list or will get one more start in the Minors. Lewis can become a free agent on April 10 if he's not activated off the disabled list.

Derek Holland, who had left knee surgery in January, is expected to throw off a mound for the first time on Wednesday. He'll still need two more months of rehab and pitching in games before he's close to returning.

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.