The Curse continues. The dark cloud is still overhead. The most snakebitten franchise in major league baseball just took another sucker punch to the gut.
Derek Holland tried to come back from injury in spring training, only to last an inning in his first start of the season, only to be shut down with a shoulder injury. Do not expect to see Derek Holland any time soon.
This comes about a month after Yu Darvish tried to come back from injury last season, only to last an inning in his first start of spring training, only to be shut down for Tommy John surgery. Do not expect to see Yu Darvish any time soon. And cross your fingers that when you do see him, he is anything like what he was before.
The team’s number one and number two starters, a sum total of two innings.
The initial reports on Holland are a shoulder strain, out four to six weeks. Translated into real time, that means eight to ten weeks at the earliest. That means Derek Holland will not have an impact in the Texas Rangers rotation in 2015 until after the All-Star Break. If then.
Holland pitched 37 innings in 2014. What are the chances he pitches that many this year? I’d say about the same chances of the Rangers Kevin Harmon winning Trainer of the Year.
Am I being too gloomy in my prognosis? All signs suggest this isn’t a major injury. But we have seen that movie too many times, and the ending doesn’t change.
That means a thin rotation gets thinner, and more guys who should not be pitching in the major leagues will be pitching in the major leagues.
That means the ace of this staff is Colby Lewis.
That means plenty of good seats will remain available this year.
I can’t remember an opening day in Arlington where the Ballpark was only 90% full, if that. I sat nine rows behind home plate, and there were plenty of empty seats around. The upper decks had empty patches everywhere.
It seems the Church of Latter Day Rangers Fans have moved on.
The crowd inside the Ballpark was strangely subdued for an opening day, too. It was as quiet as I can remember for a first home game of the season.
Maybe it was because the minute they saw a right-handed pitcher run out to take the mound in the second inning, already down 1-0, the crowd felt a collective feeling of dejection and doom, which the popgun offense couldn’t shake them out of it.
When it was all over, in game five of the season, the Rangers lost Derek Holland for a significant part of the year. They lost Ryan Rua to the DL with a sprained ankle. They lost Shin-Soo Choo with back spasms. One-third of the starting team on the field, gone. Two-thirds of the outfield, gone.
Oh, and they lost their home opener 5-1 against the Houston Astros and Collin McHugh.
They will be back out there tonight (as will I), at 7:05, with Yovani Gallardo, who got roughed up in his first start against Oakland, facing Roberto Hernandez, a mostly unremarkable pitcher throughout his nine year career mostly spent in Cleveland. He did, however, win 19 games in 2007. That was a long long time ago.
Just as long ago as the Rangers 96-win season in 2011.