The Rangers looked like future buyers when they dealt for Cole Hamels at the trade deadline, but the team now finds itself right in the mix for the postseason. Here’s the latest out of Texas:
- Left-hander Derek Holland is set to return from the DL on Wednesday, executive VP of communications John Blake announced on Twitter. Holland, 28, has seen very little time on the bump at the MLB level over the past two seasons as he’s dealt with knee and shoulder issues. He’s not only an important piece of the team’s current efforts to crack the playoffs, but will be entering a critical campaign in 2016. Guaranteed $10MM next year, the southpaw can be controlled by a pair of options thereafter, but will need to prove both health and effectiveness for the club to exercise them.
- Staff ace Yu Darvish also hit a milestone in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, though he remains a ways off. As Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets, the outstanding righty began a throwing program today and did not experience any discomfort afterwards. Darvish remains a huge key to the club’s near future, and will surely look to stay on track to be a significant contributor next season.
- Outfielder Leonys Martin, meanwhile, is set to visit with a specialist to determine the source of pain in his hand, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. The club is worried that he may have broken his hamate bone, which would end his season. Martin has struggled at the big league level this year, though he’d been playing well since his demotion to Triple-A. If nothing else, his speed and high-quality defense would make him a very useful player to have up with expanded rosters in September.
- With Martin out, top prospect Nomar Mazara has been bumped up to the Triple-A level, Grant adds. The 20-year-old outfielder owns a .284/.357/.443 slash with 13 long balls over 470 plate appearances at Double-A on the year. He’ll now slot in alongside fellow prized youngster Joey Gallo in the Round Rock lineup.