ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 07: Pitcher Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 7, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Derek Holland is arguably the most important key to whether the Texas Rangers are showered with success in 2013 or fall flat on their faces.
There is no mystery that the starting pitching is a question mark for the club heading into a season in which they still are trying to decide who their fifth starter is and they have a bullpen guy-turned starter-turned bullpen guy turning back to being a starter and trying to develop a third pitch.
Holland will be a key piece to the Rangers' season as Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison are expected to be successful once again, and if his spring debut was any sign the Rangers could be in for some good Holland this season.
Holland gave up six hits in three innings of work in his spring debut on Friday as he's ahead of schedule from the club's other pitchers because he's working to get ready for the World Baseball Classic as a pitcher for Team USA. That tournament begins on March 2.
Holland said the main thing he wants to work on is retiring hitters when he has them on the ropes.
"I felt good," Holland told ESPN Dallas. "The main objective was to go out there and execute my pitches. I threw all my pitches for a strike -- ahead in the count and behind in the count. The only thing is I gave up two two-strike hits."