Move keeps Yu Darvish on schedule

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers have altered their starting rotation slightly this week, pushing Derek Holland's next start to May 19 against the Astros in Houston.

The doubleheader in Baltimore Thursday forced the club to change things around anyway, but it decided to allow Holland some extra rest while it has the chance.

Holland is physically fine, but the team wants to be proactive about giving pitchers some additional down time when possible. They also wanted to keep Yu Darvish on his schedule, which means he'll start Wednesday against Oakland at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Because of the rainout Wednesday night, it's likely that Scott Feldman will get a spot start Monday, as long as he isn't needed out of the bullpen as a long reliever during the rest of the series against the Los Angeles Angels.

"Each year you live and you learn," manager Ron Washington said. "These guys are eating up a lot of innings in a lot of stressful games and we've got to try to take care of them somehow."

The Rangers did the same thing earlier in the season with Neftali Feliz when they had a rainout and a subsequent doubleheader in Detroit.

"It's an opportunity to really do some one-on-one work, have some mental talks," Washington said. "I want him to continue to command his fastball."

Holland has two straight quality starts after a two-start struggle at the end of April. Holland said he'll probably throw an additional bullpen session and could pitch an inning or two in relief to keep sharp for Saturday's start.

Darvish, who got the win Friday and pitched 5 1/3 innings despite a one-hour, 56-minute rain delay after he pitched a scoreless first inning, will stay on his regular schedule for the time being. Washington said that doesn't mean Darvish won't eventually get some extra days like Feliz and Holland.

"He's always been a pitcher that has a routine, and as often as we can keep him in his routine we want to keep him in his routine," Washington said. "For now, he hasn't shown any weariness."

Washington said Darvish impressed his teammates with his desire to keep pitching after the rain delay. The coaching staff discussed not bringing Darvish back, but the pitcher wanted to go back out.

"Darvish was adamant," Washington said. "He didn't come here, he said, not to pitch. So he pitched. He's got heart. He's a winner. He's for real. All this guy has ever done is win. I know it was in Japan, but he doesn't know anything else. He's committed to what he's doing and what you saw last night was commitment. That's what that Texas across our chest is about.

"You don't think that fired the team up when you see one of the pitchers not being denied, that he wants to go out there and pitch under the conditions that he was under last night and then go out and perform? ... Will he get his ears pinned back some time? You damn right he will. He wasn't going to be denied to do his job last night."