Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 24, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.
Since the Rangers failed to land really any of their off-season targets, there are several questions facing the team heading into spring training and the 2013 season.
Today's question: Will Derek Holland be able to reclaim his status from late 2011 or continue to be inconsistent and erratic?
Last season was not a good one for Derek Holland. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't at what he or the Texas Rangers had hoped to get from their newly-extended left-handed starter. Holland battled through illness and injury to put up another erratic, Derek Holland-esque year, posting a 4.67 ERA with a 12-7 record. That came after an extremely promising second half of 2011 when he was one of the top pitchers in baseball and had a stellar 8 2/3-inning start in a World Series victory after finishing the regular season with a 3.95 ERA, a 16-5 record and a league-leading four shutouts.
The Rangers desparately need Holland to find that 2011 form in 2013. With the loss of Colby Lewis for at least half of the season, the Rangers are down to two really reliable starters in Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison. The Rangers would like to see Holland get to that point -- and thought he had -- but he proved last season that he wasn't quite there.
If the Rangers are going to succeed they'll need Holland to pitch like a good No. 3 pitcher, at the worst and keep his ERA right around 4.00 with anything less being a luxury.