Ten days until pitchers and catchers. Last year for Derek Holland, that day didn’t come until much much later than February. After missing the first five months of the season because of an errant dog, Derek Holland came back to the mound for the Rangers stretch run. He pitched very well. This was the post the morning of his first start, September 2, 2014. Enjoy.
The Dutch Oven is cooking once again. Let’s hope it’s with electricity.
With only twenty-five games left in the season, Derek Holland is all healed, and coming back to the Texas Rangers rotation.
Holland pitched the biggest game in Texas Rangers history with his shutout of the Cardinals in Game Four of the 2011 World Series. Not only did he even the Series, he continued the Rangers two-month streak of not losing two consecutive games in a row—a feat that sadly ended a few days later.
But that is history.
Tonight’s start is guaranteed to make history for another reason. When Derek Holland takes the mound, he will be the thirty-seventh pitcher the Rangers will have used this season, the most pitchers used by any team in Major League history. And he will be the sixtieth player the Rangers will have used, also a record.
I sure hope he hasn’t been watching what his teammates have been doing while he has been gone. Otherwise, he might call in sick. Like most of the fans at the Ballpark have.
While Holland won’t see action in any game that matters this year, and while he will be on a pitch count limit that should expire around the fifth inning, the fact that he is even appearing in a game might be the most significant development this season and, frankly, about the only reason to watch the Rangers the rest of the way.
Hopefully he answers many more questions than he poses.
The Rangers really need to see if they have another pitcher in the 2015 rotation to pair with Darvish. It’s not just testing his surgically repaired knee, or his barking back. Remember, he finished last season with a case of the yips. He nearly got his brains scrambled by a line drive, and then pitched scared the rest of the season, often flinching after he delivered a pitch.
Barring injury, he has four or five starts to look forward to. You never know when Ron Washington will inexplicably call on him to come into the game in relief, though, as he has head-scratchingly done in the past.
Either way, it will be wonderful to see Derek Holland on the mound in a Rangers uniform.
His back is healed.
His knee is healed.
Let’s hope his dog is heeled from now on, too.