Buzz: Questions about two pitching spots

OAKLAND, Calif. — Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington suddenly has two spots in his starting rotation that are up in the air.

Scott Feldman, who is scheduled to start Saturday in San Francisco, may not start because he has performed poorly of late, including a disastrous 1 2/3-inning, eight-run outing Monday.

Derek Holland, who is scheduled for Sunday, may not start if the Rangers determine that he still hasn’t regained enough strength from a stomach ailment that has caused him to lose 15 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks. Washington said Holland looked like “a ghost” after Tuesday’s outing.

Washington clearly said that neither Feldman nor Holland have been “ruled out” for those starts, but he conceded that both spots are “questionable.” At the moment, though, both pitchers are listed as starting, and both went about their business Wednesday as if they would take their turns.

Feldman threw his normal bullpen session. Holland went through his normal workout routine for the day after a start.

Both Holland and Washington agreed there was “concern” over the pitcher’s weight loss. Although Holland got the victory Tuesday, he lost velocity as he got deeper into the game and the A’s hit him hard in his final innings.

“I lost a good bit of weight,” Holland said. “Of course I am concerned.”

For now, Holland is not scheduled for any further tests. He’s been on an antibiotic, and he said he’s been feeling better.

“I just want to be able to get rid of it so I can be myself,” Holland said. “I want to be out there and have my team not be worried about how I feel.”

In the meantime, Washington said no fewer than a half-dozen pitchers have been “mentioned” as potential starters: reliever Robbie Ross, Triple-A pitchers Zach Jackson, Michael Kirkman and Neil Ramirez, and Double-A pitchers Barret Loux and Justin Grimm.

“We’re just trying to search and make sure we find the right pieces for whatever need we might have,” Washington said. “That’s all.”


* Washington said he did not ask Josh Hamilton to skip the home run derby at the All-Star Game, but he was nonetheless relieved that his superstar made that decision.

“That’s his decision on that, not up to me,” Washington said. “It’s not up to me, but I’m happy he’s not doing it. If he takes a swing and miss and hurts something I don’t think any other team in baseball would care.”

Washington added that he “gave him a hug” after learning of his decision.

* Rangers outfielder David Murphy was thrilled to see Brandon Moss playing first for the A’s on Wednesday. Murphy and Moss came through the Red Sox system together, and Murphy said Moss is one of his closest friends in baseball.

“I’m glad he’s getting a shot,” Murphy said. “I just hope he doesn’t go off until we leave.”

* Roy Oswalt will make his second appearance for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday at Omaha. Oswalt is scheduled for three or four innings, around 50 pitches. The Rangers have him on a schedule that would have him in the majors in about two weeks.

* Every Rangers starter had a hit and a strikeout Tuesday night, the first such game for the Rangers since July 10, 2008. According to baseball-reference.com, there have been only 10 such games in the majors since 1918, and the Rangers have been responsible for three of them.