Though he flashed brilliance in between, Derek Holland’s start and finish to 2015 were disastrous. Now he faces an offseason intent on staying healthy, meshing with a new pitching coach and finding consistency.
"I definitely wanted to take a few days off to get away from it," the Rangers’ lefty said recently on KRLD-FM. "Just the way the season ended, I was very upset with it. I didn't do my job and that's really what I felt upset about, and it really bothered the crap out of me. I felt like it was a letdown for myself. I was very disappointed in that, but at the end of the day, it did fuel the fire and I'm looking forward to this next season."
Holland was on the mound for the Rangers’ home opener way back in April, but not for long. He lasted one inning before leaving with stiffness in his shoulder that would eventually shut him down for almost four months. When he came back in August, he dazzled. At least for a moment.
On Aug. 30 he pitched perhaps the Rangers’ most dominant game of the season – a complete-game shutout of the Orioles in which he allowed only three singles and struck out 11 with no walks.
The Rangers counted on Holland to close out the ALDS against the Blue Jays, but in Game 4 at home he coughed up three homers and six runs in two lousy innings. He didn’t pitch again as Toronto beat Texas in five games.
Holland next season will be working with new pitching coach Doug Brocail. It will be a tough transition, since former coach Mike Maddux was a huge influence on his development.
"To see Mike go, yeah, it stinks pretty bad," Holland said. "But at the same time, it’s a business and now we have a new guy. I’m looking forward to meeting him and working with him."
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.