Texas Rangers Spring Training Player Profile: Derek Holland
The Texas Rangers are getting prepared for the 2014 season hoping that this might be the year they get back to the World Series. Those World Series hopes took a major hit before the Rangers even got to Surprise, Ariz. for Spring Training. Starting pitcher Derek Holland had an unfortunate mishap in his home back in January when he was tripped by his dog and injured his knee. Derek had surgery and is expected to miss at least half of the 2014 season.
Holland has had his ups and downs as a Ranger the past few seasons. He had the incredible moment in Game 4 of the 2011 World Series where he pitched an amazing game to tie up the World Series at two games apiece. Holland has also faced criticism during his time in Texas. Some say he does not take the game seriously enough. They believe that he spends too much time joking in the dugout or doing impressions during interviews.
Holland admits that he enjoys having fun, but he also says that when he is on the mound his only focus is helping the Rangers win games. Unfortunately, he will not be able to help the 2014 Rangers until at least July.
Where does that leave Texas? They hope they can survive the first half of the season with a few different guys stepping up and that Holland will only miss the minimum amount of time. Derek has vowed to work hard and do everything in his power to be on the field as soon as possible.
Some may question Derek’s antics off the field, but there is no debating the Rangers need him. He has been their No. 2 pitcher the past couple of seasons behind Yu Darvish. Every option the Rangers have to replace Holland is questionable heading into the 2014 season.
Martin Perez was good last season, but he is young and it is unknown how he will respond to going through his first full season. Matt Harrison has been a top pitcher for the Rangers before, but he is coming off an injury that cost him his entire 2013 season. The Rangers also recently signed Tommy Hanson, but he is coming off an injury as well.
The Rangers have upgraded their offense, and that should help them stay in the race for the first half of the season. Some say Derek Holland has his flaws, which may be true, but if the Rangers want to reach their ultimate goal of the World Series, they will have to have Derek Holland—flaws and all.
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