ARLINGTON -- Rangers left-hander Derek Holland, who has been sidelined for most of the season with a strained muscle in his left shoulder, is scheduled to return to the rotation and pitch against the Mariners on Wednesday.
Holland hasn't pitched in the big leagues since April 10 in the club's home opener against the Astros. He made it through just one inning. Holland has made four starts as part of a rehab assignment, and the Rangers are expressing confidence that he is ready to pitch again in the Major Leagues.
"As far as the doctors and the trainers, they've all told us that through his last MRI and coming through all his rehab starts and throwing program, medically, he is ready to go," manager Jeff Banister said. "Through all the rehab starts, in talking to Derek and how he feels, the body feels, the arm feels and how he has felt in days between his starts, the evaluation of the scouts who have seen his fastball, using all his pitches, his strike-ability with all his pitches ... he's built up to 100 pitches."
Holland last started for Triple-A Round Rock on Friday and allowed two earned runs in five innings. He gave up four hits and a walk while striking out eight. He threw 89 pitches, including 60 strikes.
"It has gone well," Holland said. "I wanted to make sure I worked on my location and my offspeed pitches. The fastball is there. I wanted to make sure all my offspeed stuff is ready for the Major League level."
This is the second straight year that Holland has missed most of the season because of an injury. He missed the first five months of 2014 after undergoing left knee surgery and returned in September. Holland made five starts and one relief appearance in the final month and was 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA.
Last year, Holland made six starts on a rehab assignment before returning. He is also returning to a contending team in the middle of a pennant race rather than to a last-place team, as he did last season.
"I need to make sure I don't put any added pressure on myself but keep the same intensity," Holland said. "The main thing is once my time is called to be ready. I have confidence, after seeing how it went in my last start. I feel ready, and I trust my ability."
By inserting Holland into the rotation on Wednesday, the Rangers will give the rest of their staff an extra day of rest. Martin Perez will open Texas' four-game series against the Tigers on Thursday and be followed by Colby Lewis, Yovani Gallardo and Cole Hamels.
Chi Chi Gonzalez is still scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Mariners, but he'll likely end up back in Triple-A to make room for Holland.