Rangers RHP Padilla headed to DL

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Rangers right-hander Vicente Padilla is headed to the disabled list because of a strained shoulder muscle, clearing the way for rookie left-hander Derek Holland to make his first major league start.

Padilla returned to Texas to be examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister, who determined Thursday that there is no structural damage in the pitcher’s shoulder.

General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers planned to put Padilla on the DL on Friday, when closer Frank Francisco is eligible to be activated after not pitching since May 6 because right biceps tendinitis.

Daniels said Padilla (3-2, 4.71 ERA) was already feeling better after some medicine, and that the team is confident that Padilla will be ready to pitch when he is eligible to return June 1. Padilla likely will make at least one rehabilitation start before rejoining the team.

The 22-year-old Holland, the team’s minor league pitcher of the year last season, will start Friday night at Houston. He is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in seven relief appearances for the Rangers since being called up April 18.

Daniels said the plan had been for Holland to first get some experience in the majors by working out of the bullpen, and having a chance to contribute while adjusting to being with the big-league team. The expectation always was to give him a chance in the rotation by early June.

“We were prepared to put him in the rotation if there was a spot,” Daniels said. “The hiccup here with Padilla provides that opportunity.”

Holland is expected to make at least two starts in Padilla’s spot. But Holland won’t necessarily come out of the rotation when Padilla returns.

“We’re probably looking at a couple of turns through the rotation before that’s a reality,” Daniels said. “Let’s see how these guys pitch and then we’ll decide.”

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