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Holland Makes 'Statement' in Start Against A's

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ron Washington said it immediately on Wednesday when asked about Derek Holland's second start of the spring.

    And while it likely was spoken in "Wash speak" it was, in a roundabout way, something like this: "That was a statement."

    Washington was talking about the way in which Holland methodically worked through the A's lineup, which was, albeit, a mix of major leaguers and guys who will most likely be in the minors.

    But none of that matters. Approach is approach. Command is command. And Holland had both on Wednesday as he threw 37 pitches to get through three scoreless innings and threw 30 of them for strikes.

    "Everything's starting to click together," Holland told the Star-Telegram.

    If that's true, it could be a huge revelation for the Rangers and their up-in-the-air starting rotation. Holland has long been "that guy" in the organization — that young, electric arm with tons of unrealized potential.

    He's had his moments. Just two years ago, he tossed a complete-game shutout in a rookie year which saw him go 8-13 with an ERA upwards of 6.00, a typical up-and-down rookie year.

    Last year he came out of the bullpen predominantly and had some great stretches. Then came the World Series Game 2 effort when he threw double-digit consecutive balls to start his outing and walked in a couple of runs, something some would never recover from. Holland was back on the bump two games later and pitched effectively. He's got the mental makeup to make it in this league.

    He's not in the rotation yet, but on Wednesday he made his case with a relaxed approach. If he can have another couple of starts like that, he'll be the Rangers No. 3 starter heading into the season and could be pushed back to No. 4 when Brandon Webb arrives healthy.

    It was a good day for the Dutch Oven, but we just need to see a couple of more.