Gallardo to open Rangers' season; Detwiler in rotation

Converted reliever a candidate to start club's home opener on April 10

Gallardo to open Rangers' season; Detwiler in rotation

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has officially named Yovani Gallardo the starter for the club's season opener at Oakland on April 6 and told Ross Detwiler that he has made the rotation.

Gallardo, a longtime resident of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Texas, will be making his first start for the Rangers after being acquired from the Brewers in the offseason.

"His experience, just how he has been pitching and the stuff," Banister said. "This guy has all the ingredients that go into being an Opening Day starter."

Gallardo started each of the Brewers' last five Opening Day games. He will be the Rangers' seventh Opening Day starter in the last seven years. Kevin Millwood started four straight from 2006-09, followed by Scott Feldman (2010), C.J. Wilson (2011), Colby Lewis (2012), Matt Harrison (2013) and Tanner Scheppers last season.

"No matter if it's the first time or how many times, it is an honor and a privilege to get the ball on Day 1," Gallardo said. "There are a lot of guys here who are capable of doing it. That's why they call it a staff."

The Rangers acquired Detwiler in the offseason from the Nationals, who used the left-hander exclusively in relief last year. He has been a starter earlier in his career, however, and was promised a chance to start for the Rangers. Detwiler had to come into camp and win a job -- and he's done just that.

Detwiler earns a rotation spot

"I feel good about the way the spring has gone," Detwiler said. "There are a lot of great pitchers in camp. I feel good they have enough confidence in me and chose me for a spot. I still have work to do; it's a long season. I want to get off to a good start and stay healthy."

Detwiler joins Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Gallardo in the rotation. The Rangers have not yet announced who will be their fifth starter. Nick Martinez and Nick Tepesch are the leading candidates, but Anthony Ranaudo will start against the Athletics on Friday with a chance to revive his candidacy. Lisalverto Bonilla has not been eliminated, although the Rangers are considering him for a spot in the bullpen as well.

The Rangers have not announced the order of their rotation beyond Gallardo. Holland is still building up his arm strength and pitch count after encountering some early left shoulder stiffness. He could have been the Opening Day starter but may end up starting the home opener against the Astros on April 10 instead.

"Right now, we're still in the process of lining everybody up," Banister said. "The bottom line is we need to make sure Derek has built up enough innings and enough pitches to be ready to start a Major League game."

Holland threw 57 pitches in a Minor League game for Double-A Frisco on Thursday, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings while walking one and striking out four. All three runs came on solo home runs. He will likely have two more outings before the Rangers' home opener.

"To be honest, I feel like I can go out and pitch right now," Holland said. "I just want to make sure I've got everything just the way I want it."

Lewis also pitched for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday, working 5 1/3 innings and throwing 90 pitches. He allowed two runs on nine hits, issuing a walk and striking out four.

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.