Derek Holland is coming back today.
This bit of news is significant in so many ways. First of all, the Rangers desperately need a third starter. After Darvish and Hamels, the rotation is as reliable as a used Yugo.
According to Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News, since July 1 Hamels and Darvish are a combined 6-6 with an ERA of 2.96. All other Rangers starters are 4-14 with an ERA of 6.65. In fact, the rotation has the fifth worse ERA in baseball since then.
Not getting a quality starting pitcher at the trade deadline is rearing its ugly head. Especially in light of the news that, now that the Rangers have signed former worthwhile outfielder Carlos Gomez, Jurickson Profar and Nomar Mazara are going to have their playing time limited.
They could have been dealt for a quality starter that is so desperately needed.
Instead, the American League’s best team signed the American League’s worst outfielder, a guy who is hitting .210 with five times more strikeouts than walks. Which instantly tells you what general manager Jon Daniels thinks about his young players.
But back to starting pitching.
Here is hoping that somehow Derek Holland finds that magic he found when coming off the DL late in 2014, when he was brilliant in six starts, going 2-0 with an ERA of 1.46. Even what he did last season when he came back in late August and was 4-2 with an ERA of 4.46 would be a welcome change from the batting practice the Rangers three though five starters have been tossing.
The Rangers have six weeks to find one more starting pitcher who they can reasonably rely on to give them a W when he takes the mound. Tonight they are counting on a guy who has been afraid to throw the ball for fear it is going to be hit back at him, a guy who flinches every time he releases a pitch.
It’s going to be a long six weeks.
Derek Holland (5-5, 5.20) vs. Dan Straily (9-6, 3.72)
Game time: 6:10
How the Rangers hit against Straily.
The Reds have never faced Derek Holland.