Lewis on track for rehab assignment

Lewis on track for rehab assignment

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis is ready for a medical rehabilitation assignment.

On the disabled list because of a torn muscle in the back of his right shoulder, Lewis is scheduled to take that next step after a two-inning live batting practice session on Friday at Tropicana Field.

"Everything was good, real good," Lewis said.

Lewis is scheduled to pitch three innings for Double-A Frisco at San Antonio on Wednesday. He will make one more start after that before the Rangers decide if he is ready to return to the Major League rotation.

Lewis is 6-1 with a 3.21 ERA in 15 starts but hasn't pitched since June 21. Friday marked the first time he had faced hitters. Delino DeShields, Drew Stubbs and Robinson Chirinos took their cuts against Lewis.

"It looked like Colby," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He is still working to regain the arm strength, but very Colby-like. He moved his fastball around, and his breaking ball was the feature pitch."

Holland on hold
The Rangers have not yet announced when Derek Holland will reenter the rotation and replace Luke Harrell, who is on the disabled list with a strained groin muscle. It could be as early as Tuesday in Cincinnati or as late as next Saturday in Arlington.

The Rangers have flexibility because of the off-day they had on Thursday and another on Monday. It allows them to go with Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels during the two-game series with the Reds on Tuesday and Wednesday, and A.J. Griffin and Martin Perez in the first two games against the Indians on Thursday and Friday in Arlington.

But Holland could be inserted at any point. Doing so on Tuesday would give everybody an extra day of rest, including Darvish, who has made seven starts since coming off the disabled list and 10 overall since his 14-month absence while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

That has appeal for the Rangers.

"With the number of off-days we have, we've looked for opportunities where Darvish gets an extra day or a couple of days," Banister said.

Banister said all his starters could benefit from extra rest, but Darvish "is at the top of the list, coming off Tommy John surgery."

Rangers beat
• The Rays are the last American League team the Rangers have faced this season. But Carlos Beltran was here on July 31, hitting a home run in his last game with the Yankees before being traded to the Rangers the next day.

• Hamels made his first regular-season start at Tropicana Field on Friday. It's his 32nd Major League ballpark, and the only active one missing is U.S. Cellular Field.

• The Rangers will be playing on artificial turf for three games at Tropicana Field, but Banister is not too concerned about giving players time off. Said Banister, "I think this turf is OK. It's fairly spongy, it's not rock hard. I don't foresee taking anybody off it because of that."

• Reliever Tanner Scheppers was scratched from a Friday appearance with Double-A Frisco because of wet weather. He will be assigned to Triple-A Round Rock and pitch on Saturday. Scheppers is on the disabled list while recovering from left knee surgery.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. 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.