The Texas Rangers have activated SP Derek Holland to the active roster and will start him against the Cincinnati Reds later today. Which Derek Holland will we see and will the presence of Jonathan Lucroy have any significant difference for him?
Derek Holland is in a very meaningful stretch of his career, having already had a mediocre start to the season followed by missing 2 months due to yet another injury. His performance over the rest of the season will weigh heavily if the Texas Rangers decide to bring him back for 2017 or not. Holland has had 14 starts this year, carries a 5-5 record with a 5.20 ERA, his last start was on June 20th.
Before the injuries Derek was a fan favorite a few years ago because he was a lefty with a dominant arm who showed up big in the playoffs and we can’t forget that mustache of his. Since that time fans have questioned the passion that Derek has for playing baseball because of injuries sustained while playing with his dog or him appearing to joke around in losing efforts.
It should be common knowledge that Holland has a personality that may be more of an acquired taste. But he does not care what people think, he knows his commitment to the Texas Rangers and how much he loves to play baseball.
He has made it clear with his reactions to fans suggesting these things that it fuels him and he likes to have that chip on his shoulder when he plays. Now if you think about it that may be concerning, a major league player looks for negative comments from fans to fuel him? I am not 100% sure that he looks for them but he says that he is aware of them.
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Over the past 3 years the numbers of Derek Holland’s contract have come out to the Texas Rangers paying $768,000 per start because of injuries. The thing that matters for Derek for the rest of the year will be his starts and his performances over the 6 weeks left.
This is important because he is not guaranteed a spot in the starting rotation if Colby Lewis comes off the DL as expected in early September. Martin Perez pitches well at home and has been in the rotation all year, A.J. Griffin is up and down in his starts and if Lewis comes back and pitches like he did at the beginning of the year then there may not be room for Holland.
What I am most interested to see is if the presence and the way that Jonathan Lucroy calls a game will help Derek Holland like it seems to be helping Martin Perez. There may need to be a learning curve with Holland and Lucroy that would need to develop quickly in order to get the best out of Holland moving forward.
It has been reported that the Texas Rangers moved Shawn Tolleson to the 60 day DL to make room for Derek Holland and they also have activated Josh Hamilton from the DL and placed him on unconditional release waivers.