6/26/2014 9:37 P.M. ET
Holland itching to go on rehab assignment
By Grace Raynor / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Despite his desperate desire to return to the diamond, Rangers pitcher Derek Holland still isn't quite ready to begin a medical rehab assignment.
Holland had surgery to repair torn cartilage behind his left knee after a January fall in his home and is itching to to begin competing again.
"I feel great. I feel like I can do everything," Holland said Thursday. "I can field my position, I can make the plays when needed."
But both Rangers manager Ron Washington and general manager Jon Daniels said that though Holland is certainly showing signs of improvement, the left-hander is still not 100 percent.
Holland went through pitcher's fielding practice Thursday.
"He's moving to the ball better, his throws are better," Washington said. "Still the leg is foreign to him. We have to figure out a way to get that leg a part of his thinking, without thinking about it, you know?"
Daniels said the next step for Holland is throwing in a simulated game Saturday -- not quite a full-game speed, but more than he's done since the injury.
Holland is eager for the next step.
"No matter what, I obviously respect their decision. There's no doubt about it," Holland said. "Me personally,I want to play. I want to be out there helping these guys out. I want to be a part of this, I want to do whatever it takes."
Daniels can't focus on injuries
ARLINGTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels is well aware of the injuries that the Rangers have dealt with this season.
But he won't allow himself to focus on them.
Daniels joined the media in the Rangers dugout Thursday before Texas' final matchup of a three-game series with Detroit, and said that though the injuries have obviously taken a toll on the team, the group has to move forward and focus on other things. Entering Thursday, the Rangers had lost seven in a row, a season-high losing streak and their longest since September of 2013.
"The challenge for us is that we can't keep talking about the injuries," Daniels said. "We can't focus on them. There are a lot of things that we need to do. The story of the year can't just be the injuries."
But that doesn't mean that at times, Daniels hasn't been curious.
"I'd love to see what we were capable of with Prince [Fielder] and Geovany [Soto] and [Tanner] Scheppers and [Alexi] Ogando and Matt [Harrison] and Derek [Holland] on down the line," Daniels said. "I'd love to see that group out there ... but it's not going to happen."
Rehabbing Scheppers waiting for six-week mark
ARLINGTON -- It's been just more than two weeks since Rangers right-handed reliever Tanner Scheppers went on the disabled list for right elbow inflammation, and though he's physically shut down until the six-week mark, he's already eager to pitch again.
Scheppers went on the disabled list June 11 and had been on it earlier -- April 18 -- with the same problem. He had a 9.00 ERA in eight games, four of which he started.
Once the six-week mark rolls around, he's expected to begin a full-throwing program.
While he's feeling better physically, mentally he's frustrated that he's unable to help a Rangers team that is struggling mightily as of late.
"You kind of feel a little bit worthless just sitting on the DL, just watching on the sidelines," Scheppers said. "The likelihood of me coming back this year is very slim. It's not looking all that great, which is frustrating, but I have to look at the big picture things sometimes and get healthy."
Beltre's hot bat making strong All-Star case
ARLINGTON -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre went 7-for-8 against the Tigers in Arlington on Tuesday and Wednesday in the first two games of a three-game series that concluded Thursday.
After going 9-for-12 in the three games prior to the series finale vs. Detroit, Beltre had raised his batting average from .306 to .328 -- his highest average since the fourth game of the season, and the third-highest mark in the American League.
Beltre has done everything possible for a struggling Rangers squad, but is still more than million votes behind in All-Star voting for AL third basemen, as Sunday's recent numbers showed.
Josh Donaldson of the A's sits at the top of the list with 2,436,771 votes, Beltre in second with 1,346,957.
Beltre is the only Ranger toward the top of his position, with outfielders Alex Rios and Shin-Soo Choo in 12th and 14th place, respectively.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15, on FOX.
• The Rangers are in fourth place for the 22nd time in 23 days entering Thursday. The last time the Rangers sat so low in the standings at this point in the season was 2007.
• The Rangers' .432 home record is the fourth lowest in the league, and second lowest in the American League entering Thursday, only ahead of Tampa Bay.
• The winner of Thursday's matchup between the Rangers and the Tigers will claim the season series.
Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.