It was hard to know what to expect from Derek Holland when he made his season debut earlier this month after he underwent microfracture surgery on his knee as a result of a January tumble down the stairs thanks to his dog, Wrigley.
Holland has long been a supreme talent with a bit of a "mental hole" that perhaps prevented him from realizing his potential. So after nearly a year without pitching in a big-league game, it was really hard to predict what Holland would show in his month back on a big-league mound.
What we've seen has been absolutely fantastic.
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Holland has made three starts since returning from a five-month disabled list stay, and has been superb. He's averaged seven innings per start and has allowed just two runs in his 21 innings. He hasn't given up a home run, and most impressively, he's yet to walk a single batter.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Holland is the first pitcher since "at least 1900" to pitch at least seven innings, allow no more than one run and walk no batters in his first three starts of the season. Making it all the more impressive, perhaps, is the fact Holland came in after a near-year hiatus and is doing just that.
He'll look to continue his unprecedented streak on Wednesday night in Oakland and look to give the Rangers a series victory over their bitter rivals, and history is on Holland's side. He's traditionally been very good in Oakland, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.95 ERA in his seven career starts at O.co Coliseum or any of its previous names.
The Rangers have to be loving what they're seeing from Holland, who has gone on record saying he wants to be the Rangers' No. 1 starter in 2015. With Yu Darvish on staff, that's both a lofty goal and a pretty gutsy statement. But if he can somehow manage to do that, the Rangers' rotation is looking pretty darn salty.