Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports some bad news for Rangers fans on Twitter: lefty starter Derek Holland injured his left knee in a fall at home and earlier today underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage. Fraley adds that Holland is likely out until mid-season.
Fraley spoke to GM Jon Daniels, who said the Holland injury won’t pressure the organization to make a move for a “big ticket” pitcher such as Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka. The Rangers will likely fill the void with an in-house option such as Robbie Ross.
Holland, 27, was a big part of the Rangers’ plans in 2014 considering his career year last season. He finished with a 3.42 ERA in 213 innings as well as a 21 percent strikeout rate and 7 percent walk rate.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.