Apr 28, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland (45) on the bench during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Oakland beat Texas 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

When should Derek Holland return?

The Texas Rangers have been without Derek Holland all season so far.  Due to a dog named Wrigley he has been sidelined with a knee injury which resulted in surgery back in January.

Ever since the injury Derek Holland has been eager to do what ever it takes to get back on the mound as quickly as possible.  It seems like he even blames himself for the way the team has performed this year.   There is no doubt that his presence has been missed, there is no way you can blame all of the Texas Rangers issues on him.

No one could have guess that the Rangers would use the disabled list 21 times.   Also, it’s not Holland’s fault that there are still 15 players on the disabled list.  So far, the players on the disabled list have combined to miss over 1,000 games.  And, the value of players currently on the disabled list is more than the 25-man roster for the Houston Astros.

Currently Derek Holland is set to start a throwing program on July 18.  After that he’ll be assigned to begin his rehab assignment with the Round Rock Express on July 23.  He is scheduled to pitch 2 innings and about 35 pitches.  That means he could rejoin the rotation around mid-August.

For a long time it seemed like Holland was on pace to for an early return, but according to reports he is not recovering as quickly as they had hoped.   The main issue is that his knee isn’t strong enough for fielding.  That’s the main reason he was not rehabbing before the All-star break.

Considering how bad the Rangers are playing this season, the question should be asked if they should even bring him up at all.  He should at least get some rehab assignments in the minors, but shutting him down for the season should also be an option.

The reason is to protect his knee and to give it ample time to fully heal and strengthen.  If they already think it’s not strengthening as well as it should, then it doesn’t make any sense to rush things.  If and when Derek Holland does return to the Rangers rotation, he’ll be giving it his all to help the team win games.  If his knees goes down, he could have another huge setback that would impact his playing next season.

Unfortunately this season is lost and right now the Texas Rangers and Derek Holland should all be planning for 2015.

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