When Derek Holland was a bullpen swing man struggling to stay up with the big club in 2010, he watched as newly acquired veteran lefty Cliff Lee solidified the team's starting rotation and helped groom a young lefty in C.J. Wilson into a very good starting pitcher — one that went on to be the team's No. 1 starter in 2011 when the Rangers went to a second World Series in a row.
Now fast-forward a handful of seasons and we have seen Holland come full circle. He had a really good year and then suffered two injury-plagued seasons that brought back doubt among Rangers fans and possibly even the Rangers, at least quietly, of just how good Holland can be on a consistent basis.
Now, he has his own veteran lefty to learn from in the form of Cole Hamels, who was brought on board at the trade deadline and helped propel the Rangers to the AL West crown and one nightmare inning from a berth in the ALCS.
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In speaking to the Dallas Morning News' baseball podcast with Evan Grant, Jeff Banister said he hopes Holland can learn a lot from Hamels and make himself a more consistent and better pitcher as he's still just 29 years and has plenty of time still to become as good as his potential has shown he could be.
"For a guy like Derek Holland to be able to pick little things up from Hamels," Banister said. "We all learn from each other, and that's the greatest environment we can create in a ballclub to all be open, driven and have a thirst for learning. And if we can get Holland on that path and stay consistent with what he learns, that's probably the best asset that he could have."