With eye on postseason, Banister flips rotation

Hamels, Darvish to get extra rest before series in Oakland

With eye on postseason, Banister flips rotation

ARLINGTON -- Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish are both going to get extra rest before their next two starts as they get ready for the postseason.

Manager Jeff Banister announced on Tuesday that Derek Holland will start on Wednesday against the Angels instead of Hamels on his normal four days of rest. Hamels instead will start on Friday against the Athletics, with Darvish going on Saturday.

"I think it's the appropriate time for both of them to get extra rest," Banister said.

Banister stressed that he has not set the postseason rotation. Right now the plan also calls for Hamels and Darvish to make their final starts of the regular season the following Friday and Saturday, against the Rays. That would put them in position to enter the postseason as the Rangers' top two starters. The first two games of the American League Division Series are scheduled for Oct. 6-7, which is Thursday and Friday of the following week.

The Rangers are formulating these plans with the idea that they will clinch the division title sooner than later and that they'll have the luxury of being able to set their rotation for the postseason.

"We still have some yard work to do right now," Banister said.

The Rangers want both Hamels and Darvish healthy and rested for postseason, but they also want them heading into October on the upswing. Hamels is 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA in his last four starts, and Darvish is 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his last five.

"You don't want them to go out and throw a shoe," Banister said. "It would be nice for them to go out, throw the ball well and have some success. There would be a lot of 'feel good.'

"What's necessary is for all our guys to get on that roll -- quality pitches, manage the game and go as deep as possible. There is a lot of 'feel good' satisfaction in that. If everything is in place, you are mentally stronger and relax. Relaxed is a lot better."

Barnette progressing: Tony Barnette, who has been sidelined for two weeks with a strained muscle in his left rib cage, said that he really let it go in a flat-ground throwing session on Sunday. He said he threw at about "90 to 95 percent" and had no problems on Monday.

"Today I woke up feeling good," Barnette said. "I see it going fairly well."

Barnette would like to throw lightly off the mound by Wednesday and then have a normal bullpen session this weekend in Oakland. That would give him one week in the regular season to get ready for the postseason.

Rangers beat
• Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey and the Rangers celebrated their fifth year of partnership with another "Keep Livin Well" program at Globe Life Park. The partnership designs programs to help local students improve their physical and mental health through exercise, teamwork, gratitude, nutrition and community service.

Said McConaughey, who runs the just keep livin foundation: "We need the Rangers organization to oversee that to make sure it's running right. We don't have the manpower to do that. The Rangers have been a great partner with us, and they're some of the most successful schools in the country right now because they oversee it the right way."

• The Rangers did not hit a home run on Sunday after having hit one in 18 straight games, the third-longest such streak in club history.

• Banister is not paying too much attention to the AL Wild Card race and the Rangers' potential first-round opponent.

"I've got a number of people doing that for me," he said. "We've got as many scouts out there as possible on all situations. We have to earn the right to play them, and we haven't done that yet."

Adrian Beltre entered Monday's game leading the Rangers with a .295 batting average. The last time the Rangers did not finish with at least one .300 hitter was in 2000, when infielder Luis Alicea led the team with a .294 average.

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.