Holland not quite ready to rejoin Rangers' rotation

Holland not quite ready to rejoin Rangers' rotation

MIAMI -- The Rangers see Derek Holland making progress in his recovery from offseason knee surgery. They still don't see him ready to return to the Major Leagues.

Holland, in his fifth start on a rehabilitation assignment, went five-plus innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday night, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits, three walks and seven strikeouts. He threw 87 pitches in his longest outing with the Express.

"He got into the sixth inning," pitching coach Mike Maddux said after getting the report. "He was better out of the windup than the stretch. He got better as the game went on. He was up early, but got the ball down later. He had a productive changeup and slider. He maintained his fastball throughout the outing, which is good."

Holland's next outing is "to be determined," Maddux said. But it's unlikely to be at the Major League level, even though the Rangers need a fifth starter on Tuesday against the Mariners.

"I feel like I'm ready, but that's up to them," Holland said. "I can't decide too much. They have to figure out what the call is. I'm ready. The whole thing down there was just making sure I could finish and go as long as I could. I feel good."

"Derek Holland is still working," manager Ron Washington said. "If he keeps progressing, you'll see him. You're not going to see him soon, but you'll see him if he keeps progressing."

The Rangers have Colby Lewis, Nick Tepesch and Miles Mikolas lined up to pitch vs. Seattle. They don't yet have a starter for Tuesday, and they are not expecting Yu Darvish to be ready to come off the disabled list. Robbie Ross could be recalled from Round Rock to make that start.

"When we get back home, we'll discuss what we're going to do," Washington said.

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.