The Texas Rangers are beginning the onerous task of rebuilding their starting rotation almost from scratch, might familiar face Derek Holland be a solution?
Once upon a time Derek Holland represented the future of the Texas Rangers pitching staff. The light-hearted and hard throwing lefty known as “The Dutch Oven” was a fan-favorite in North Texas. He would go on play eight seasons for Texas, teasing with his potential and even occasionally tapping said potential.
Following the 2016 season it became clear he was no longer a part of the Texas Rangers future. The Rangers were undeniably playing for the future and Holland no longer figured into that future. In fact, his loss in velocity meant he may not be a part of any team’s future. And after a terrible 2017 season with the Chicago White Sox were he posted a 7-14 record with a 6.2 ERA, that appeared to be true. But then last season happened.
Derek Holland quietly became the San Francisco Giants best starter last season. Playing on a one-year prove it deal, The Dutch Oven was the Giants work horse, pitching the most innings on the team, using both the bullpen and the starting rotation.
Holland’s 3.57 ERA was the second best of his career and the 32-year-old looks to cash that in on the free agent market this winter. The good news is, Holland knows who he is at this stage of his career. He knows his ceiling is the middle of a starting rotation and he’s not going into free agency with unrealistic expectations. He also comes with a touch of baggage after doing some racially insensitive joking for the cameras in August (to which he has sincerely apologized).
Why would he fit on the Rangers today?
The Rangers need arms in order to simply compete next season. As we stand today they have but one starting pitcher. Holland brings familiarity and a little marketability with him.
More from Texas Rangers
- Texas Rangers hitting the reset button with Jonathan Hernandez
- Texas Rangers lose Jacob deGrom to Tommy John: Next steps
- Grant Anderson gives the Texas Rangers their missing ingredient
- Texas Rangers: How Adolis Garcia started putting up MVP numbers
- Why Kumar Rocker is still a successful pick for the Texas Rangers
It’s not like he’ll be a progress stopper either. The Texas Rangers aren’t exactly bubbling over with on-the-cusp pitching talent these days. This is a slow build going on and majority of the Rangers talent is farther down the farm ranks.
The plan this season is to find some bargain stop-gaps that eat innings and keep the team in the game. Holland can be that guy.
Derek Holland is an affordable arm with experience starting and relieving. At this point in his career he’s an average pitcher in just about every category. He doesn’t go very deep into games anymore (couldn’t make it out of the seventh inning last year) but he’s still a valuable and versatile asset to a non-contending team like Texas.
Love the Rangers? Join our writing team!
The Texas Rangers will need to get creative as they try to affordably build a rotation this winter. Trading young players and signing bargain retreads will be nearly unavoidable. They could do a lot worse than Derek Holland, and sadly, “could do worse” is the attitude they’ll be taking the next couple seasons as they mull over roster building decisions.
- Published on 10/21/2018 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 10/21/2018 at 07:14 AM