Texas Rangers rumors: Colby Lewis and Derek Holland, Rangers pitchers currently on the disabled list, are expected to be ready to re-join the Ranger rotation on August 21 and August 20, respectively. That comes from Rangers g.m. Jon Daniels, via Stefan Stevenson. Those August dates are when Lewis and Holland are eligible to be activated from the 60 day d.l.
An interesting statement from Daniels, especially given that neither pitcher has started throwing to hitters yet, and given that Evan Grant wrote yesterday that each pitcher was expected to need close to the full 30 day rehab period before they'd be ready to be activated.
There's a few possibilities here...it is certainly possible that Lewis and Holland are making better progress than is thought, and that both could be ready to re-join the Ranger rotation in four weeks. It could also be that the pair would, theoretically, be in a position to be thrust into a starting role if they had to at that point, if all went well, but the preferred route would be to have them spend additional time in the minors on a rehab assignment.
Or it could be that Daniels is just putting up a smokescreen, sending a message out there to potential trade partners that the Rangers don't really have to make a trade for a starter, because they'll have two of them back in not too long, and really would only be getting someone to make a handful of starts, and thus aren't in a position where they have to overpay.
I tend to think there's at least some of the final element there, although I also think that the Rangers would feel comfortable, if they had to, having Colby go out for a 60-75 pitch start when he normally would still be on a rehab assignment working his way back, confident that Colby knows his body and has the ability to gut through things...but my guess is that that's not the preferred direction.
That said, if the Rangers really think that Colby and/or Holland will be able to return to the rotation in four weeks, it might impact their approach at the deadline. Evan mentioned swingman Erasmo Ramirez of the Rays as a possible target, since he's someone who could plug a hole in the rotation for now, but potentially move into the bullpen once reinforcements arrive.