In his last start, seven days ago, Derek Holland showed the Rangers once again that he can be great. Unfortunately, Holland's flirtations with greatness have often been peaks in between huge valleys.
Holland tossed a four-hit, complete-game shutout to beat the Oakland A's in the midst of the Rangers' seven game win streak that was interrupted by the all-star break.
The start before that, Holland couldn't get out of the first inning against the Florida Marlins.
Tonight, Holland will open the "second half" of the season for the Rangers by taking the mound at Safeco Field in Seattle where he'll face one of the worst offenses in all of baseball. Holland needs a great start tonight and it would do wonders for both his confidence, the front office's confidence in him, and the rest of the starting rotation's confidence as a whole.
Obviously, C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis are bulldogs for the Rangers. Alexi Ogando has emerged as a surprise superstar in the starting role despite a rough three-start stretch before two more gems going into the break. Matt Harrison has been up and down, but not nearly as much as Holland is he's turned into a serviceable No. 3 starter or a great No. 4.
If Holland can get things going, and keep them that way, the Rangers' starting rotation is going to be awfully stout barring injury, which this group has managed to avoid so far aside from a couple of pesky blisters.
With Scott Feldman being put on outright waivers on Wednesday, it showed an indirect confidence in Holland, as it was Feldman who was apparently pushing Holland for his spot in the rotation.
There's no doubt Holland has the electric stuff needed to be a star, he just has to show it more consistently.