Derek Holland just can't catch a break.
After sitting out the first five months of last season after falling down some stairs, the embattled lefty came back to put up a lights-out September and gave the Rangers all kinds of hope that he could be a big-time No. 2 behind ace Yu Darvish in 2015.
Of course, that whole plan didn't really work out as Darvish needed Tommy John and Holland lasted nine pitches (one inning) in his 2015 debut before leaving with shoulder tightness that ended up being a strained muscle that required lots and lots of rest.
Now, Holland is itching to get back to work, but he can't.
The Rangers lefty still hasn't been cleared to throw from a mound, and according to Fox Sports won't be any earlier than June 19, when he has his next scheduled MRI to see how the muscle has healed. If he's cleared then, he likely wouldn't be able to return until late July or maybe even early August. If he's not, then who knows?
At this point, it seems more likely that Martin Perez will return from his Tommy John procedure last year before Holland, and Matt Harrison has already begun a rehab assignment in his unlikely path back to the bigs after spinal fusion surgery.
At this point, the best it seems the Rangers can hope for is another couple of months without Holland. At that point, you just hope he can give them what he gave them last year over the season's final month. If so, that'd be quite the "acquisition" for the late-season push — one that seems it will actually be meaningful this year.