Anthony Ranaudo to start for ailing Derek Holland

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The mystery of just which pitcher would drop into the Wednesday afternoon starting spot of injured Derek Holland was solved when the Texas Rangers tabbed 25-year-old right-hander Anthony Ranaudo.

Word of Ranaudo’s promotion from Triple-A Round Rock, which will become official Wednesday, came in a phone call at 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. He was scheduled to start in Round Rock’s game at Colorado Springs tonight.

“That’s the kind of call you want to get up for," said the 6-foot-7 LSU product. “I’m excited. This is the opportunity I’ve been looking for."

The Rangers will take on the Los Angeles Angels in a 1:05 p.m. CT series finale Wednesday at Globe Life Park.

Ranaudo was acquired by the Rangers in an offseason trade with Boston. After failing to make the 25-man roster this spring, he landed in Round Rock. In one start for the Express, Ranaudo was credited with a win after working five scoreless innings, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out six.

Jeff Banister said Ranaudo’s call-up at the moment is not a long-range move.

“We had a meeting and he was available," the Rangers' manager said. “We prepared him in the spring as a starter. We felt like, of all the choices we had, he was the best one."

Holland went down with a subscapular strain of the right shoulder in the Rangers' home opener Friday and will be out for two months.

“I’m an aggressive guy," Ranaudo said of his pitching style. “I throw a lot of fastballs and I go right at guys."

Ranaudo had a solid minor league season in 2014, going 14-4 with a 2.61 ERA. But he went 4-3 with a 4.81 ERA in seven starts after being called up by the Red Sox late in the season.

“I didn’t have my best stuff at the end of the season and I faced a couple of playoff teams," Ranaudo said. “But I learned a lot."

The Angels' lineup boasts two of baseball’s best hitters in Albert Pujols and Mike Trout.

“I’ve watched Pujols for years. It will be fun to pitch against him," Ranaudo said. "Mike Trout is a New Jersey guy like me. I met him before at a baseball camp. Anytime you can go against the reigning MVP, it is fun."

Lineup tweaks: Leonys Martin, 2-for-20 on the homestand, drops from leadoff to eighth for tonight’s 7:05 CT meeting with the Angels at Globe Life Park. Shin-Soo Choo, still looking for his first hit at home, falls three rungs to No. 5.

Rougned Odor and Mitch Moreland will hit at the top of the order.

Banister said it’s a one-day change as he looks for a spark and some energy. The Rangers failed to score in the final eight innings of Monday’s 6-3 loss to the Angels and also went scoreless in the last six innings in Houston’s 6-4 win in 14 innings Sunday.

“Leonys is going to be our leadoff hitter," Banister said. “We talked about it all spring. But we’ve been a little inconsistent. We’ll give it a different look."

The manager pointed out Odor is among the team leaders with four pitches seen per plate appearance.

Attendance: Banister noted Monday night’s smallish crowd of 18,401 in a match-up with the reigning AL West champion Angels. Threatening weather was a likely factor, but Banister said it is the team’s responsibility to create an environment and play at the level where fans will want to come out. For the opening home series against Houston, the Rangers’ smallest crowd was 35,276 on Sunday.