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Rangers big hit in Shreveport; Winter Caravan visits - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Rangers big hit in Shreveport; Winter Caravan visits

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SHREVEPORT, La -

The Texas Rangers Winter Caravan came to Shreveport Monday and gave the city $10,000. The money is to be used to help the city with its fields, equipment, etc. as part of major League baseball's RBI program.  The players who attended were first baseman/DH Mitch Moreland and outfielder Michael Choice.

One of the issues facing the team as it heads to spring training next month is how to replace lefthander Derek Holland, who will miss the first half of the season after having arthroscopic surgery last Friday on his left knee.

Holland injured his knee in a fall on stairs in his home.

"I am devastated by this injury. It was a freak accident at home that resulted in a hard fall on my knee," Holland said in a statement released by the team. "As upsetting as this is, my goal is to begin rehab and get back on the mound as quickly as possible."

General manager Jon Daniels said team physician Dr. Keith Meister repaired cartilage behind Holland's kneecap during the surgery. Daniels said no ligaments needed to be repaired.

Daniels said it was too early to have an exact timetable for Holland's return, but is that the 27-year-old lefty is "expected to miss some time into the year." Daniels said for planning purposes, the Rangers are looking at a midseason return, but are hopeful that it can be earlier than that.

The Rangers said Holland will have only limited activity over the next six weeks.

Holland was 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA in a team-high 33 starts last season. He pitched a career-high 213 innings.

In five major league seasons with the Rangers, Holland is 49-38 in 141 games (123 starts). He is under contract through 2016, with club options for two more years after that.

Without Holland, the Rangers still appear to have Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Martin Perez and Alexi Ogando set for the rotation to start the season.

Asked about filling Holland's spot, Daniels said he expected to add some pitching depth, but clarified that would be "more in the depth category than really replacing somebody at the front-end of our rotation."

Daniels never specifically mentioned Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese free agent who was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 27 starts last season. But the GM said it didn't seem realistic that a "big-ticket item" would be the answer.

"This is an opportunity for a number of our guys," Daniels said. "We're going to go out and hopefully fortify that group and give ourselves some additional options and expect Derek will be back midyear."

Daniels, though, has said previously when asked about Tanaka that the team would do its due diligence with any free agent.

After the Rangers signed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to a $130 million, seven-year contract last month, team co-owner Bob Simpson said adding Tanaka "would be a tough thing."

The Rangers' payroll is expected to be over $130 million this season, more than double what it was when the ownership group took over nearly 3½ years ago.

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