Derek Holland threw a grand total of nine pitches in one inning of work before leaving the Rangers' home opener against Houston. He hasn't pitched for the Rangers since, and his absence put the Rangers' rotation in a bind after losing ace Yu Darvish in spring training with Tommy John surgery.
He made his second rehab start on Tuesday, and will make his third on Sunday at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, and the lefty is itching to get back on the mound after missing the first five months of the 2014 season and coming back in September with stellar results.
“It’s hard. I’m trying [to be patient],” Holland told the Star-Telegram. “I have at least two more rehab starts. I’m gonna try to push after those two to get back here with these guys.”
Holland's fastball was consistently sitting in the mid-90s on Tuesday in Round Rock, but he struggled with his secondary stuff and is still trying to hone the off-speed part of his arsenal. He did say he's been pain-free for a couple of months now, which is a positive sign.
If he can return the Rangers' rotation by the end of this month, it would essentially work as a late-season trade acquisition and give the Rangers' rotation a big boost, especially if he can pitch like he did last September after a long layoff.
“When I come back here I need to have everything working,” Holland said. “I have to show up here and I have to have everything. I can’t show up with half my stuff.”