Derek Holland Asserting Himself as No. 2 Starter for Texas Rangers

By Greg Higgins
Derek Holland
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

With all the injuries the Texas Rangers have been having this season on the pitching staff, it’s no wonder they went and traded for another quality arm at the deadline. Grabbing Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs has proven to be invaluable so far for the Rangers. Having Garza pitch every five days is an added benefit for this team when you consider who they already have. Garza is pitching next to Yu Darvish, who is having an incredible season so far, and Derek Holland.

Holland, despite the record of 9-6, is putting together a really nice year and has asserted himself as a legitimate No. 2 starter for the Rangers. For the season, Holland has a 2.95 ERA and his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is 3.8 — by far the best of his career so far.

Even though Texas lost to the Seattle Mariners on Friday night, 3-1, Holland can not be blamed. He pitched seven innings and only allowed two hits and no runs. He also allowed three walks while striking out six batters. Holland left the game with a 1-0 lead before the bullpen blew the save and the lead.

This is the type of performance Holland has given the Rangers all season long. Darvish is the staff ace and there shouldn’t be any argument there. The argument comes in at the second position. With the acquisition of Garza, many people feel that he is the No. 2 starter for this team. The numbers don’t back this claim up, however. Garza has a 3.40 ERA this year for the Cubs and Rangers combined. His ERA at Texas is 3.86 while his WAR for Texas is only 0.5.

If the postseason startedd today, Darvish would be the Game 1 starter, and I would hope Ron Washington would insert Holland for Game 2. Either way you look at it, though, Darvish, Garza and Holland are three really good pitchers to enter the playoffs with.

Greg Higgins is a MLB contributor for Follow him on Twitter: @greghiggins457, Like him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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