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A Texas Ranger who needs to return in '14 for the sake of '15

GRAPEVINE, Texas - A quick glance at the status of left-handed starting pitcher Derek Holland plus the remaining schedule for the Texas Rangers and a strong argument can be made that he should it down. That there is no reason to push anything, and it would be better to simply return completely healthy in 2015.

StoryThe original plan of Holland returning from micro-fracture surgery on his knee in time to make a significant impact is gone but for the sake of 2015 it would be ideal if he pitches in 2014.

"It would be nice if we chould check that box," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Wednesday at an MLB event in Grapevine.

Daniels said that with the number of questions and concerns this team figures to have immediately after the season ends, it would be nice to know if Holland is already back from surgery. Right now, Holland is a solid maybe.

"We are not going to push anything," Daniels said of Holland, who should return to the big-league club this season, provided he suffers no more setbacks.

The No. 2 starting pitcher for your Rangers has been out since he tripped over his boxer named Wrigley, and suffered a knee injury that required micro-fracture surgery before the start of spring training.

The original prognosis was that Holland would return in June. Then it was the All-Star break. Then it was just after the All-Star break. Now it's Aug. 7, and Holland is on his way back pitching rehab starts in the minors.

He has appeared in two games and pitched three innings between Double A Frisco and Triple A Round Rock; he has allowed four hits, four runs, two home runs with three walks and seven strikeouts.

My original prognosis was that Holland would miss the season, which figuratively he has, but it would be best for everyone if I was wrong (again) and he literally is in Arlington. It would be best for Holland to show that he is back, and that for the sake of the 2015 roster and rotation, the Rangers could pencil him in their rotation behind Yu Darvish.

Right now, Holland is a solid maybe. It would be a nice box to check.

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