Holland 'feels great' after 2nd rehab start

Rangers lefty allows one run on four hits over three innings, strikes out two

Holland 'feels great' after 2nd rehab start

ARLINGTON -- Rangers left-hander Derek Holland was upbeat following his second rehab start on Wednesday night with Triple-A Round Rock.

Holland, who's currently on the 60-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation, threw 55 pitches over three innings against Nashville while allowing one run on four hits and striking out two.

"I feel great," Holland said. "Everything went where it needed to go, except it started off a little slow. Location-wise, everything was up. I just have to adjust and take care of what I need to do. But overall, I thought everything was good."

"He'll go out there and throw a couple more, depending on how he feels," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.

After exiting Wednesday's game, Holland threw more pitches in the bullpen, which brought his final tally up to 77 for the night. Next up is another start with Round Rock at Salt Lake City on Monday. He's still aiming for a late August return.

The Rangers have begun to find their groove again, winning five in a row and seven of their last 10 entering Thursday's game with the Rockies. But Holland has had to bottle up some of that excitement as he looks to get back on the field.

"The way I look at it is, I can't focus on what they're doing," Holland said. "I'm obviously watching everything, but I have to worry about getting myself healthy and back out on the field. I can't get too caught up in how much fun they're having, because we're going to have fun when I'm back, too."

Stubbs' long road to recovery
When Rangers outfielder Drew Stubbs initially went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left little toe on May 23, he believed he would be able to return to action in the minimum two-week span.

Stubbs injured the toe while rounding third base in a game against the Astros on May 22. What ensued was a rehab process that took over two months before he was activated on Wednesday, including being transferred to the 60-day disabled list on June 29.

Stubbs' sac fly

"It dragged on a lot longer than any of us expected, but here we are," Stubbs said. "We still have a month and a half to go in the season, and truthfully the most important part of the season. So hopefully I can step right in and help contribute to another division title."

The veteran outfielder was still having trouble rounding bases deep into his rehab process, hindering one of his best assets -- speed. He even sought help from two of the best foot and ankle doctors in the United States in Dr. John Crates and Dr. Annunziato Amendola, who were not sure how long it would be before the toe healed.

"When you've got those two guys unable to give you a good timeline or answer for what it's going to take to get me back out on the field, you know you're dealing with a freak injury," Stubbs said.

But Stubbs is finally back with the team to provide extra speed and defense off the bench. He entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning of Wednesday night's 5-4 win over the Rockies.

"This is a guy who we believe is an elite defender for us, solid baserunner," Banister said. "An extra player that we feel like in certain situations could give us an extra weapon in different spots."

Rangers beat
• Left-hander Jake Diekman picked up the win on Wednesday, giving the Rangers 29 relief wins this season, which is the most in the Majors and three more than their total from all of last year.

Carlos Beltran got a scheduled day off on Thursday with a day game following a night game. Banister indicated it was not due to any lingering issues from a left quad contusion he sustained in Sunday's win over the Astros.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.