Struck by liner last time out, lefty doesn't expect to be hindered in start Thursday
By Dave Sessions
ARLINGTON -- Rangers lefty Derek Holland said Tuesday that his sore left middle finger feels "way better" than it did the day after it was stung by a line drive Saturday in Houston, and Holland does not expect it to hinder him in his next start Thursday.
Holland threw a bullpen session on Monday and said he had to make adjustments to some pitches because of the finger.
"Yesterday went well," Holland said. "I got through my bullpen, found out some pitches I needed to work with and fix and I felt like I did a good job of that. ... I'm not too worried about it."
The ball hit Saturday by the Astros' Jose Altuve -- the first hitter Holland faced -- glanced hard off his pitching hand. Holland was attended to by Rangers medical staff and had to throw a couple of warmup pitches to see if he could continue. He stayed in and pitched five innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits to take the loss.
Holland is in the midst of a rough stretch since coming back strong from a shoulder injury in mid-August. Over his past four starts, Holland is 0-2 with an 8.59 ERA, 33 hits and 11 walks in 22 innings.
• Manager Jeff Banister said Robinson Chirinos could start a game before the end of the season but the Rangers are still monitoring his left shoulder. Chirinos has played in just three games since July 30 but hit a double in the ninth inning on Monday.
• Banister said Josh Hamilton is not ready to play back-to-back games on his surgically repaired left knee. The Tigers also had a left-hander on the mound Tuesday, so Mike Napoli was back in left field. The Rangers are encouraged by how well Hamilton is moving in left field but will still likely replace him on defense with a lead.
"The reality is what he does in the batter's box can be more impactful," Banister said. "It's about offense, and it's getting better."
• The Rangers will play on national television three consecutive times for the second weekend in a row, with Friday night's game carried by ESPN, Saturday's game on FOX and Sunday's regular-season finale on TBS. Saturday's game was moved from a night game to a 12:05 p.m CT. start to accommodate the national broadcast. The Friday and Sunday games will be carried in the Rangers' television territory by Fox Sports Southwest.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.