There wasn't a more Jekyll and Hyde pitcher in Major League Baseball last season than Derek Holland. From the all-star break on, Holland was one of the best pitchers in baseball. In Game 4 of the World Series, he pitching 8 1/3 innings of shutout baseball on a huge stage. But before the all-star break, he was throwing a complete game one start, and the next time out would go one inning. Holland finally had three straight quality starts for the first time in his career after the break. He seemed to turn a corner.
Now, the Rangers hope he doesn't turn back. But so far, so good for the Rangers' bright, young star.
Holland threw three innings in his second spring start on Sunday, allowing one run on a sacrifice fly.
He also had four strikeouts, pounding the strike zone with tenacity, which was music to the ears of his manager.
“He used all of his pitches, moved it around and did a great job,” Ron Washington told ESPN Dallas. "Every time he takes the ball, he gets a little better."
Holland will likely be the No. 2 starter for the Rangers when the season opens in less than a month, as it's already been announced that Colby Lewis will be the team's Opening Day starter. But don't read too much into that ceremonial choice, Holland is entering the season with the expectation of being the team's No. 1 guy with Yu Darvish also being in the mix.