This past Monday the Texas Rangers announced the team would not be picking up the 11 million dollar option on left-handed pitcher Derek Holland. Even before the season ended there was already a lot of speculation about his return for the 2017 season.
I for one wasn’t surprised of the news that he would be testing free agency this off-season. There was a lot of talk about the team shopping him around to other teams, but there was little interest in Holland that resulted in the team buying out his contract for 1.5 million dollars.
Holland commented about his option not being picked up.
"“It was more of a let down on my side. The guys here helped me. I just didn’t pitch well.” – Evan Grant Dallas News"
I am one of the many fans that will miss Derek Holland. He is one of those special players that has a lot of talent along with a huge club house presence. He’ll be missed by fans and by his fellow teammates. As you can guess, I don’t think he’ll be back next season with the Texas Rangers.
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Unfortunately for Holland he’s been plagued with injuries over the past 3 seasons. He missed almost all of the 2014 season due to his knee injury. That’s the injury where he had an accident coming down the stairs with his dog during the off-season. He managed to come back for the last month of the season for 5 starts. He did fairly well with 2 wins and a 1.46 ERA, but the 2014 season was already a train wreck plagued with injuries all over the roster.
Everyone hoped he’d turn things around and become the ace of the club during the 2015 season because during that off-season the Texas Rangers lost Yu Darvish to Tommy John surgery. But, after just one start he landed on the disabled list due to Subscapular strain in his left shoulder that caused him to miss most of the 2015 season.
The 2016 season was supposed to be his comeback year, but he continued to have issues with his throwing shoulder and missed a large chuck of the season. He’s late returns in the past 2 seasons only to have limited to no effectiveness. That’s been a huge drop in success he experienced in the 2010 and 2011 seasons when he was solid in both post season appearances the Rangers made.
Holland started game 4 of the 2015 ALDS against the Toronto Blue Jays. Everyone hoped he’d delivery like he did in his past postseason appearances, but the Jays lit him up for 3 home runs and ended up beating the Texas Rangers and eventually the series.
His injuries have had a huge impact on his performance and it is unknown if he’ll be able to be a successful starter in the future. In my opinion he won’t ever wear a Texas Rangers uniform again. Which, isn’t a bad thing for him.
Sometimes a change of scenery is a good thing for a player. I believe he’s a great person, teammate and pitcher. He has plenty of talent in that arm and just needs to regain his confidence and stay healthy. I know he’s going to miss Texas and Texas is going to miss him.