Holland ready to rejoin rotation

Holland ready to rejoin rotation

ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland will rejoin the Rangers' rotation on Wednesday and pitch against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark.

Holland will replace Matt Harrison, who is going on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left biceps tendon. Holland was 4-1 with a 0.93 ERA in six starts for Oklahoma City.

"I've been getting back to using my four-seam fastball a lot both in-and-out and using my breaking ball and changeup," Holland said. "That was the main thing: to work on my offspeed stuff."

The offspeed stuff is what deserted Holland last season when he went 1-6 with a 10.19 ERA in his final seven starts down the stretch. He was trying to throw both a curve and a slider. The Rangers wanted him to choose one and get back to being more effective with his changeup. He has been throwing the slider much more, while not completely abandoning the curve.

"It was just inconsistent," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was known for having a great changeup but he lost his feel for it. Supposedly he got it back."

Harrison, who threw 127 pitches in a start against the Mariners on May 1, came down with tendinitis in his last start on Thursday against the Royals. He hasn't thrown since then and he could end up in the bullpen once he returns.

Much will depend on how Holland is doing during his absence but it's tough to get hurt and keep a spot in the Rangers' rotation. Both Holland (sprained knee) and Tommy Hunter (strained oblique muscle) got hurt in Spring Training and lost their spots.

Hunter is still pitching in Triple A and now Harrison has to wait to see what will happen to him. If Holland pitches well, he's not going to lose that spot in the rotation.

"I'm trying to do my best to keep it that way," Holland said. "That's how it always is. If you get the opportunity, you better take advantage of it."