Rangers' trade talks revolve around pitching

Club will stick with regular rotation unless deal is made

Rangers' trade talks revolve around pitching

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continue to have conversations with other teams as Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, and starting pitching remains a prime topic of conversation.

There is still a possibility the Rangers could get Cole Hamels from the Phillies, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross from the Padres or somebody else. But until they do, the plan is for them to keep the rotation the way it is right now.

That means right-handers Colby Lewis and Yovani Gallardo will start against the Yankees on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, and Nick Martinez, Matt Harrison and Martin Perez will pitch this weekend against the Giants.

The Rangers had discussed the possibility of Wandy Rodriguez starting either Wednesday or Thursday against the Yankees. But the club decided to leave him in the bullpen. The Rangers did not want to risk taxing their bullpen with a short outing from a starter.

"Using Wandy out of the bullpen on Sunday and Phil Klein [for two innings] Monday night, we're a little bruised," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We need some length and coverage."

Gallardo fans Kubitza

It also puts both Lewis and Gallardo out on the mound one more time before the Trade Deadline. The Rangers have been getting some interest from other teams about both pitchers.

"I have heard my name out there but I don't see myself going anywhere," Lewis said. "It would be sad if I did leave."

Hamels and David Price of the Tigers have been viewed as the two best pitchers on the trade market. Clubs may be waiting to see where they go before talks pick up over pitchers like Gallardo and Lewis. The Dodgers have been considered the Rangers' prime competition for Hamels, but the Cubs, Giants, D-backs, Yankees and Red Sox have all been mentioned as well.

The Rangers are going to stay in rotation with Harrison as well. He is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts after allowing six runs in six-plus innings in a 6-2 loss to the Yankees on Monday. Harrison threw six scoreless innings in his previous start against the Rockies.

"He threw very similar to the way he threw in Colorado," Banister said. "He was able to move the fastball around and when it was down, it had good movement on it. When it was up, it's like what happens with most pitchers, it gets hit well."

Harrison said he had trouble getting loose until the fifth inning.

"There were some parts where I was ahead of a lot of guys and made my pitches and some spots I was behind guys and didn't make pitches where I needed to," Harrison said. "I feel like my stuff was moving the same, the velocity wasn't the same as my last start. I guess just look back and see what was different and figure it out."

Worth noting:

• Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin, after throwing out Mark Teixeira in the eighth inning on Monday night, leads the Major Leagues with 13 outfield assists. It was his 36th outfield assists as a center fielder, passing Juan Beniquez for the most in club history.

Martin nabs Teixeira at home

Derek Holland came through a bullpen session on Monday without any issues and is still scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment Thursday. Holland will likely start at two innings and 30 pitches, but the Rangers have not announced any details yet.

• The Rangers went into Tuesday's game having gone eight consecutive games without grounding into a double play. The club record is nine.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.