Healthy Holland Critical to Rangers' Survival in 2015

This spring, battling a sore throwing shoulder, Rangers’ pitcher Derek Holland has a 4.32 ERA. In two starts over 8.1 innings, he allowed eight hits and four earned runs.

Relatively speaking, it’s been a perfect month in the desert.

That’s because a year ago, remember, Holland was sidelined by a knee injury caused by his dogs running up the stairs at his home. He missed most of the season.

But now, with Yu Darvish out for the year, Holland has been elevated to the Rangers’ No. 2 starter. A guy with good enough stuff to win a crucial World Series game with a two-hit shutout in 2011, he might just be the closest thing Texas has to an ace.

Holland, who will start the home opener a week from Friday in Arlington, allowed five runs and two walks in 5.1 innings Tuesday in a loss to the Cubs. Compared to last season, however, it’s all smooth sailing.

“I'm ready to go,” Holland said. “There's no shoulder issues. My pitch count is up and I'm happy. I'm not going to lose sleep over some of these results.”

Scary that the Rangers are counting so heavily on the goofball with the good fastball.

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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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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