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July 14, 2013

Ross Wolf part of Rangers' rotation plans to open second half

Ross Wolf has claimed a spot in the Rangers’ rotation to open the second half, but manager Ron Washington cautioned Sunday to not write the names down in ink.

Derek Holland will open the second half Friday against Baltimore, and Martin Perez and Wolf will follow, though not necessarily in that order. Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando would pitch July 22-23 against New York, as long as both are healthy enough to do so.

If not, Justin Grimm, if he’s healthy, would make a start. Otherwise, he’s headed to the bullpen as Wolf gets another shot to be a starting pitcher.

“I think he’s earned it,” manager Ron Washington said. “That could be one start. That could be two starts. That’s the way we’re going right now.”

Wolf is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts covering 11 innings. His longest outing was 6 2/3 innings as the Rangers’ long man June 8 in an 18-inning game as Toronto, and he has a 1.99 ERA in 22 2/3 relief innings.

Grimm, meanwhile, has seen his ERA balloon to 6.37 after allowing seven runs Friday in 3 1/3 innings. He left early because of tightness in his forearm near the elbow, but, as of Sunday, he wasn’t expected to hit the disabled list.

He played catch before the finale at Comerica Park.

“He could have finished pitching,” Washington said. “It didn’t bother him when he threw.”

Darvish, who reported no problems Saturday with his right trapezius muscle after throwing, is expected back to open the Yankees series, but Ogando isn’t a certainty.

He will pitch if his rehab start Thursday at Triple A goes well. He is on a limit of six innings or 95 pitches.

-- Jeff Wilson


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