Because apparently the Rangers’ injury woes are carrying over for another season, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo exited today’s game with back spasms just moments after left-hander Derek Holland was forced out of his start with shoulder soreness.
Choo had a rough first season of a seven-year, $130 million contract, playing just 123 games due to ankle and elbow problems and posting a career-worst .714 OPS.
Jake Smolinski replaced Choo in right field.
Derek Holland, who missed most of last season recovering from knee surgery and struggled with shoulder problems this spring, exited his first start of the season after one inning today with what the Rangers are calling “shoulder tightness.”
For now they’re saying it’s not in the same area where Holland experienced soreness during spring training, but obviously shoulder problems then and shoulder problems now make for a lot of worry.
Holland pitched very well down the stretch last year once he was finally able to return from knee surgery, posting a 1.46 ERA in 37 innings, and the 28-year-old left-hander has a 40-21 record with a 3.83 ERA since 2011.
After being released by the Braves last week, veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers.
Rodriguez had a fine showing as a non-roster player with Atlanta this spring and appeared to have a rotation spot locked down at one point. However, the Braves traded for Trevor Cahill last week and opted to go with Eric Stults over Rodriguez for the fifth starter job.
Rodriguez is now 36 and has struggled to stay healthy over the past three years, but he could get an opportunity with the big club if he gets off to a good start with Triple-A Round Rock. With Yu Darvish sidelined, the Rangers are set to go with Yovani Gallardo, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, and Nick Martinez in their starting rotation.