The demotion of struggling Rangers first baseman Chris Davis (.188 average, no home runs) and his replacement by top prospect Justin Smoak last week is an indication of an attitude change in Texas. Team president Nolan Ryan said before the season that he sees the Rangers as a 92-win club, and a 7--10 start in which they scored only 71 runs inspired him to make an aggressive move. A rotation upgrade may be next. Lefthander Derek Holland, 23, has allowed just two earned runs in four Triple A starts, striking out 21 and walking three. A power lefty, he had a 6.12 ERA in 33 games (21 starts) with Texas last year, but he showed flashes of brilliance. Holland is one of Texas's five best starters; he'll be back before Memorial Day.
This is an article from the May 3, 2010 issue