7/30/2014 9:51 P.M. ET
Holland feels good after first rehab outing
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland returned to the mound in a real game for the first time this season when he pitched two scoreless innings for Double-A Frisco in a medical rehabilitation assignment against Midland on Wednesday.
Holland did not allow a hit, walked two and struck out four. He threw 33 pitches. He did not have to test his left knee with any fielding chances.
Holland will next pitch Monday for Triple-A Round Rock.
"Just trying to get out there and get back into the swing of things," Holland said. "First time out, very excited, a lot of adrenaline flowing, but the main thing was I just wanted to execute my pitches. I felt like, overall, a couple bad walks, but for the most part, I'm feeling really good about how I was out there doing everything.
"I felt great from the beginning. ... Mechanically still feel the same with my knee and everything. All I really wanted to do was attack the zone, and today I felt like I did a pretty good job of that, except for the two walks."
Holland underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee on Jan. 10 to repair torn cartilage. Holland injured the knee falling over his dog on a staircase at his house. The Rangers are expecting Holland to come off the disabled list at the end of August and possibly get five starts at the Major League level before the season is over.
"I even actually tried to push for another inning today," Holland said. "I knew that wasn't going to happen, but it's always worth a shot. You've got that competitive nature, you want to get out there and go for another inning, but I respect what these guys tell me."
Rios exits after getting hit by pitch in left quad
ARLINGTON -- With his name being prominently mentioned in trade rumors, Alex Rios was pulled out of Wednesday night's game vs. the Yankees in the fifth inning because of a bruised left quad.
Rios was hit by a pitch from New York starter Hiroki Kuroda in the third inning. He played one inning and then was taken out as a precautionary measure.
Rios continues to be a player of interest for contending teams looking to trade for offensive help before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Rangers continue to have discussions with other teams about both Rios and reliever Neal Cotts, and club officials said those talks could go down to the final hour.
The Orioles are among the teams that have shown interest in Cotts. The Mariners, Yankees, Giants, Royals, Indians and Reds are among teams that are looking for offensive help in the outfield. Rios went into Wednesday's game vs. the Yankees hitting .305 with four home runs and 43 RBIs.
"I don't have any reaction to all the rumors," Rios said. "There's not much to say. I'm here to play baseball and focus on what I have to do."
Rios said his preference would be to stay with the Rangers, but a trade would likely put him on a contending team with a chance to play in postseason for the first time in his career.
""It would be nice. … It's something that hasn't happened in my career, so it would be nice to experience," Rios said. "Let's see what happens. I would like to stay here, but at the same time, you have to understand the situation and a few other things. It is what it is, whatever happens, happens."
Rios has been traded twice during the season in his career, and both happened after the non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Rangers acquired him from the White Sox last season on Aug. 10.
Smolinski yet to run at full speed; Soto progressing
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Jake Smolinski said he is dealing with a small cracked bone in his left foot. He was hit on the foot by a foul ball last week in New York and is currently on the disabled list.
He is eligible to come off next Wednesday, but he is still not running full speed.
"I'll be fine," Smolinski said. "But it's always frustrating to not be on the field with your teammates. I'm just trying to stay positive and control everything I can control right now, and do my best to get back out there."
Catcher Geovany Soto, who is on the disabled list with a strained right groin muscle, is also eligible to come off the disabled list next Wednesday. The Rangers may wait until the following Friday in Houston, but Soto appears to be making a quick recovery and could join Triple-A Round Rock on medical rehab assignment as early as Friday.
"I have been healing pretty quick," Soto said. "I have been feeling better and better every day, and the treatment has been good. Turns out it really wasn't that bad. I had a few days off and started coming back fairly quick."
Both Soto and Smolinski were injured in the Rangers' 4-2 victory over the Yankees on July 21 in New York.
• Veteran third baseman Eric Chavez, who is with the D-Backs, has decided to retire. He was close with Rangers manager Ron Washington when they were together in Oakland. Washington was the infield instructor when Chavez played third base for the Athletics. Said Washington, "He has had a tremendous career. Without the back injury, it could have been better, but Chavez was a great, classy, a pro and a great teammate. He was a special player."
• J.P. Arencibia was 4-for-5 with two doubles, two home runs -- including a grand slam -- and seven RBIs on Tuesday night. He was the ninth player in Major League history to have at least seven RBIs and four extra-base hits, including a grand slam. He was the first of those nine to be on the losing team, as the Rangers fell, 12-11.
• Arencibia's grand slam on Wednesday was the first for the Rangers since Nelson Cruz on July 5, 2013. The Rangers had gone 183 games without one, the longest span going without a grand slam since a 225-game run from May 23, 1985 to Aug. 1, 1986.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.