ARLINGTON, Texas -- Joe Nathan doesn't need to be coddled.
That was his response Thursday when asked about not being available for Monday's doubleheader loss in Arizona after pitching three straight days in Seattle.
"I did it last year," Nathan said. "What's the difference in a year?"
Nathan is correct about last season. He pitched fourth straight days last May 15-18, not allowing a run while pitching an inning in each outing.
He didn't allow a run or a walk in the last three games of the stretch with five strikeouts. His high pitch total was 21 and his low eight. He had two 15-pitch outings during the stretch.
Nathan threw a total of 30 pitches over three games this past weekend in Seattle with a high total of 14. He did allow a game-tying home run to Raul Ibanez to start the bottom of the 11th Sunday in Seattle, a game the Rangers eventually lost 4-3 in 13 innings.
"I prepare myself," Nathan said. "If everything checks out, I don't need extra care. I don't need to be coddled."
Nathan said he got the message he wasn't going to pitch Monday in the first game of the doubleheader when the Rangers had two runners on and the go-ahead run at the plate trailing 5-3 in the top of the ninth inning.
"Could I have pitched? Yes," Nathan said. "Would they use me? No."
Tuesday's off day and Wednesday's rainout have given Nathan three days off headed into Thursday's game against Arizona. He said there are some benefits from days off and he should be fresher, but players want to be available every day.
"I felt fine yesterday, I felt fine in Arizona," Nathan said. "It was more from the front office guys saying he could use a few days off."
Holland on improvement: Derek Holland will take a sub-3.00 ERA into Thursday's start against Arizona.
His 2.97 ERA is 11th in the American League. He has worked seven-plus innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his 10 starts. He has allowed four home runs in 66 1/3 innings.
What's the biggest reason for his improvement?
"Location," Holland said. "I'm pitching in and out and controlling my pitches."
Rotation update: Manager Ron Washington said he will know more about the rotation for next week's road trip to Boston and Toronto once Alexi Ogando makes his rehab start Friday and throws his subsequent bullpen session Sunday.
Ogando likely will re-enter the rotation next Friday or Saturday in Toronto. With Monday's off day, the probables for the three nights next Tuesday-Thursday in Boston are Justin Grimm, Holland and Nick Tepesch.
Sunday Night Baseball: The Rangers game on Sunday, June 23 has been selected as the ESPN National TV game and has been moved from 1:15 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. The game will not be televised by Fox Sports Southwest. It will the Rangers' fourth appearance on Sunday Night Baseball.