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Holland Has Perhaps Most Encouraging Start

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    Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Global Life Park on May 23, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

    Derek Holland has seemingly been pitching for his spot in the rotation for a few weeks now.

    Crazy how far he's fallen in that regard.

    His job seems pretty safe for now with the news A.J. Griffin is nowhere near being able to return from a shoulder injury, but even still, he's starting to put together some solid outings.

    After two straight bad outings, Holland has two straight quality starts and Monday night's against the Angels might be his most impressive outing of the season as far as his stuff is concerned.

    He tied a season-high 6 2/3 innings set in his second start of the season, and in that one he tossed scoreless baseball, something he didn't do on Monday.

    But on Monday, his stuff might've been the best it's been all year, and that's encouraging.

    He needed just 99 pitches to get 20 outs and pounded the zone with 67 strikes, and his velocity was strong in the mid 90s and actually got better as the night went on. More importantly, he used his change-up effectively for really the first time this season and that always makes a fastball even more dangerous.

    The Rangers have waited for Holland to show his good stuff for a while now, and with Yu Darvish returning on Saturday from 14 months away, it's only going to boost the team's rotation that much more.

    Holland is eligible to become a free agent after this season unless the Rangers pick up a club option for $11 million in 2017. So, it's in his, and the club's, best interest to keep this up.