The Texas Rangers have had enough bad news this spring, from Jurickson Profar's shoulder injury relapse to the worst of the worst news in the form of Yu Darvish and Tommy John being in the same sentence.
The guy that is hoping to replace — or at least step in for — Darvish as the Rangers' No. 1 pitcher officially made his spring debut on Friday afternoon, and aside from one little hiccup early on against the Seattle Mariners, it couldn't have gone any better for Derek Holland.
Holland surrendered a leadoff double and then a five-pitch walk to begin his outing, but then got out of the first with a double play before putting up two more scoreless innings and then having to retire to the bullpen to throw 10 more pitches to hit 42 pitches on the day.
“I was a little antsy,” said Holland, who was slowed by a bout of early-camp shoulder soreness. “I wanted to get out there and pitch. It was like I was en fuego. I was going 100 miles an hour.”
Holland was beautifully efficient after his first-inning struggles, and had six at-bats of three pitches or less, including five against the final six batters he faced.
“You have to attack the zone,” Holland told the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t fear anybody. I want to go out and see how fast I can get those guys out.”
It's not fair to expect Holland to "replace" Darvish, but if he can pitch like he pitched in September of last season in his only month of the season, the Rangers could be in store for a nice surprise from Holland.