By the time the Texas Rangers' season ends, it seems pretty likely Derek Holland, who entered the calendar year projected as the Rangers' No. 2 starter, will have made five starts in 2014. That's unfortunate.
But on Sunday, he continued a positive trend that could lead to those five starts being high, high-quality stuff from the Rangers' lefty, who missed the first five months of the season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee this winter.
Holland tossed seven scoreless innings on Sunday as the Rangers beat Seattle 1-0, following up his 2014 debut in Kansas City when he gave up one run in seven innings. Now, his ERA is a very solid 0.64 and in his 14 innings, he has zero walks.
Interim manager Tim Bogar, who took over for Ron Washington after his unexpected resignation on Friday afternoon, said he was pleased to see Holland once again show he's in midseason form with this lost season winding down.
"That just tells you who Derek is," Bogar told reporters. "He's a gamer. He's a great teammate. He wants to win. He's the kind of guy you can build a whole team around, his attitude, the way he goes about things. The intensity is what I really like about it every inning."
And even though there's a guy named Yu Darvish in the Rangers' projected 2015 rotation, along with a likely addition of another top-notch starter, Holland said he hopes to figure into the mix when talking about a staff ace. While that might be a bit of a stretch, you have to like Holland's enthusiasm, especially after seeing his two outings.
"I want to be that guy," Holland told FoxSports.com. "I'd love to be the No. 1. I want them to count on me every single time I go out there and compete."