The Rangers may have to wait until the All-Star break to get two-fifths of their rotation back.
Rich Harden (pictured left) is still shut down after going on the disabled list Saturday with a strained gluteus muscle. He'll long-toss on Thursday and then will begin the road back. Manager Ron Washington believes Harden will need at least two starts in the minor leagues -- not just to put the injury behind him, but to address several pitching issues, says MLB.com.
Harden has a 5.68 ERA through 13 starts, which is hardly what the Rangers were hoping for when they signed him to a $7.5 million deal for the year. While he's never been stingy with walks, his 43 walks on the season currently leads the AL.
Young lefty Derek Holland, who hit the disabled list after just four starts and one relief appearance after being recalled from the minors, is sidelined with an inflamed rotator cuff. He threw a light bullpen on Tuesday and everyone came away pleased with the results. He'll repeat the process on Thursday before ramping the bullpen session up on Sunday, barring a setback. The Rangers are wisely being cautious with Holland, who could give the team years of dominant pitching.
Meanwhile, on offense, outfielder Nelson Cruz's recovery from a torn left hamstring seems to be going so well, he completely forgot which hamstring was injured.
"It was like it never happened," Cruz said.
Cruz will undergo another workout Wednesday before departing for a rehab assignment and could be back as soon as the middle of next week. Cruz' 1.134 OPS in 126 plate appearances will be much welcome to a team that has seen David Murphy struggle in Cruz' absence.
-- Evan Brunell
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