After Roy Oswalt held the Rockies to one run over 6 2/3 innings in his Rangers’ debut on Friday, the AL West-leaders are close to getting another boost for their starting rotation.
T.R Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Derek Holland is scheduled to make his first minor league rehab start Wednesday with Triple-A Round Rock.
Holland, who was placed on the disabled list earlier this month due to shoulder fatigue and a stomach virus, is scheduled to throw around 50 pitches in his first start back. The young southpaw is expected to make a second rehab start next Monday, which would set up a potential return next Saturday against the Twins. It’s possible the Rangers could give him a third rehab start, would would push back his return until right after the All-Star break.
Holland, who signed a five-year, $28.5 million extension with the Rangers in February, has a disappointing 5.10 ERA and 59/24 K/BB ratio in 67 innings this season. His velocity was down a bit prior to landing on the disabled list, a by-product of his stomach virus. However, he has regained his strength during his three-week absence.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.