<
>

Rangers will examine Holland Saturday

HOUSTON -- The Texas Rangers suffered a setback in their starting rotation when left-hander Derek Holland tweaked his right knee during a pitcher's fielding drill while rehabbing in Surprise, Ariz.

Holland was scheduled to throw Friday, but the knee injury halted that progress. Team doctor Keith Meister will examine Holland on Saturday.

It's the second time Holland has injured the knee this year. He sprained it in the first week of spring training.

Holland was placed on the disabled list June 1 because of inflammation in his left rotator cuff and was scheduled to come off it this past week. A positive report from a throwing session could have pushed him back into the rotation for Wednesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but that's now in doubt.

Manager Ron Washington said he's not sure who will start the second game of the Pirates series but listed right-handers Guillermo Moscoso and Doug Mathis as possibilities. Triple-A Oklahoma City left-hander Michael Kirkman is also a candidate.

The Rangers used reliever Dustin Nippert to start Thursday's 6-4 win over the Florida Marlins. Nippert went just three innings and threw 74 pitches. He's unavailable to pitch for at least the next two days but could start Wednesday as well.

"We're moving forward," Washington said Friday before the Rangers' road game against the Houston Astros. "The one thing you can't do in this game is you can't stop believing in each other. You're going to have problems no matter who you are. As long as the group that's in that clubhouse believes in each other you can overcome a lot, no matter what it is."

Washington dismissed Matt Harrison as a possibility because he likes to have two left-handers in the bullpen.

"I don't want him back-and-forth," Washington said. "Certainly, he's filling in a great role right there. It gives us an opportunity to not overuse Darren Oliver."