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Rangers alter rotation, split left-handers

The Texas Rangers have altered the starting rotation, splitting left-handed pitchers Derek Holland and Matt Harrison by inserting Yu Darvish between them, making him the No. 3 pitcher with Harrison now at No. 4.

It means that Darvish is now slated to start Thursday's game in Detroit on regular rest (four days in between starts) and Harrison will pitch Friday, a week after his last start.

The Rangers had hinted that they might alter the rotation even as they left Surprise, Ariz., less than a week before the season began. Monday's off day allowed them to do it.

The bullpen has needed to pitch early at times for both Darvish and No. 5 starter Neftali Feliz, who are both making transitions this season. Darvish is pitching for the first time in the big leagues and has been plagued by a high pitch count in his first two outings, forcing him out of both starts before the sixth inning was completed. Feliz is starting for the first time in the majors and will have to adjust to longer starts. By splitting them up, perhaps the bullpen can get a break at times depending on how things unfold.

This means that Darvish would pitch Tuesday, April 24, against the New York Yankees for his next home start. Holland would pitch the opener Monday with Harrison finishing up that series Wednesday.

A look at the revised upcoming probables for Texas (as sent out by the Rangers media relations crew):

Wed at Bos: LHP Derek Holland (1-0, 3.38) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (1-1, 5.68) 6:10 660/1540/FSSW

Thurs at Det: RHP Yu Darvish (1-0, 4.76 vs. LHP Adam Wilk (0-1, 3.60) 6:05 103.3/1540/FSSW

Fri at Det: LHP Matt Harrison (2-0, 0.64) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (1-0, 1.84) 6:05 660/1540/TXA21

Sat at Det: RHP Neftali Feliz (1-0, 2.25) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (1-1, 2.13) 12:05 103.3/1540/FSSW

Sun at Det: RHP Colby Lewis vs. LHP Drew Smyly (0-0, 2.25, tonight) 12:05 103.3/1540/FSSW