2016 X-Factors: Holland Heroics

With a week until Opening Day, we'll take a look at the five most important factors to Rangers' success in 2016, spread out over — you guessed it — five days.

No. 2: There might not be a more important Rangers pitcher this year than Derek Holland.

Derek Holland hasn't had a healthy season, or anything even close to it, since 2013 when he put up some career numbers — 3.42 ERA and 213 innings pitched. In the two years since, he's made 15 regular-season starts with very mixed results — some great and some not-so — and one choke job in the postseason.

It's long been clear Holland has the talent to be a really good No. 2 starter in the big leagues like when he led the league in shutouts with four in 2011, but it's also long been clear he has trouble consistently putting his best foot forward on the mound. Over the last two years, he's had trouble getting on the field.

With Yu Darvish set to return by late May or early June after missing all of last season following Tommy John surgery, the Rangers need Holland to flash that No. 2 starter stuff behind Cole Hamels, and then they can hope for Darvish to rediscover his greatness and let Holland settle into a more comfortable No. 3 role.

If all of that can happen, Holland is going to be a major key to the Rangers' success this season. The biggest thing for him is consistency. We all know he has some great talent, he just has to do a better job of showing it every fifth day.

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