Derek Holland and Mike Napoli hug after the Texas Rangers win Game 4 of the World Series.
In what will be a daily post, we'll talk about the upcoming season for the Texas Rangers and where guys fit in on the roster. It's almost baseball time!
Today, we're going to start with who the Rangers will have as their No. 1 starter in their deep, jumbled rotation.
We know already that manager Ron Washington has decided Colby Lewis will get the Opening Day start, which is well deserved. But let's be honest, Lewis isn't the team's No. 1 starter. If he is, the Rangers have some issues. He's been a soldier for the Rangers and deserves the honorary start, but he's nothing more than a No. 3 starter if everything pans out like the Rangers hope with Yu Darvish.
So who, honestly, is the Rangers' No. 1 starter? The guy that would start Game 1 of a postseason series if everything was set up perfectly? It sounds crazy to say, but it's Derek Holland.
Holland was the definition of inconsistent for the first half of 2011, throwing a complete game here, and an absolute stinker there. In fact, he had never had three straight quality starts in his career until he caught fire after the all-star break.
He ended up leading the American League in shutouts with four. He was 9-1 with a 3.06 ERA after the all-star break and finished the season with a 16-5 record and a 3.95 ERA while throwing 198 innings.
This year, he'll be called upon to replicate his second-half performance over the course of an entire season and be the guy the Rangers rely on to win a game when they need to or stop the bleeding in a losing streak. That's what aces do, and Holland has shown he has the stuff to be an ace. Now he just needs to do it.