Fielding to determine Holland's next step

Fielding to determine Holland's next step

ARLINGTON -- Hurler Derek Holland, who has been sidelined since undergoing surgery on his left knee in January, is expected to go through another extensive fielding practice this week.

How he performs could determine when he is ready to go on a rehab assignment. If it was up to Holland, there would be no doubts.

"I'm ready to go," Holland said. "That's what I've been saying over and over."

Holland threw 75 pitches in a simulated game on Monday in Arizona before returning to Arlington, but his arm has never been the issue. The Rangers want to make sure he is physically able to field his position, most notably handling bunts to the left side of the mound, planting his leg and making strong throws to first.

"We just want to see where his progress is and then we'll decide after that," manager Ron Washington said.

Holland admitted that his knee is not going to be 100 percent this year. Washington added that the Rangers recognize there will be issues, but they want to make sure they could "live" with them. The Rangers have had more than their share of setbacks with injured players, so they are trying to be careful with Holland.

Once Holland is cleared, he will be sent on assignment. He is up to 75 pitches, but the Rangers want to see him get hitters out rather than just build his endurance. Holland understands that part.

"I don't want to show up here and not be ready to go," he said. "I definitely have to get people out. I can't just get my work in and show up thinking I can help this team."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.