BY: Richard W. Humphrey

The Rangers will reach the mathematical halfway point of the season when they play tonight’s game against the White Sox. With a 50-30 record, they are two wins better than they have ever been after 80 games. June started slowly at 3-6, but lost only three more games to finish out the month at 19-9. They accomplished this record despite having half their opening day pitching staff on the disabled list by the end of the month. It has been a favorable schedule, which included five series with National League teams all of which were under .500 when Texas played them. This is what good teams are supposed to do – beat bad teams.

The Rangers start a three game series with the White Sox tonight, then are back home for the fourth straight weekend to play Minnesota. Next week is the All-Star break, after which the Rangers embark on a three city, eight game road trip with all the games against West Division opponents. They then come home for a 10 game homestand that spills over into August.

The Rangers will take the field tonight with seven All-Stars, and they may add an eighth by the time they get back to Arlington. Fan voting is ongoing until Thursday afternoon for the 34th spot on each team. Yu Darvish is one of five nominees, all of which are pitchers.

Derek Holland pitched five brilliant innings last night in his second minor league re-hab start at AAA Round Rock, then melted down in the sixth when he allowed three home runs. Afterward, he pronounced himself ready to return to the active roster. There is no word yet today regarding his activation. Texas could stay in rotation and start Martin Perez Friday and Yu Darvish on Saturday. However, with Monday’s off day, Perez could be skipped, Darvish could pitch on regular rest on Friday night, and Holland could be activated for Saturday’s game.

Colby Lewis is projected to return next week after the All-Star break. Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando have begun throwing programs, though neither has been scheduled yet for a minor league re-hab assignment.

The team also announced that Dave Barnett has taken an indefinite leave of absence. He has undergone a battery of tests to determine what may have caused the incident in the June 7th game. There have been few details released about his condition. There was a reported fall during the winter, and it is possible his problems relate to injuries incurred when he fell. It is also reported that the problems may not relate to the fall at all, and that his physicians are still unsure of the cause. He has not been back in the television booth since the incident, and is not expected to return this season.

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