Texas Rangers' fan favorite, 36-year-old Derek Holland is making a bid at a comeback. Holland announced yesterday morning that he is on his way to Pennsylvania. There, the "Dutch Oven" is going to be pitching for the York Revolution, an independent team that is part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Selected in the 25th round of the 2006 MLB draft by the Texas Rangers, Holland spent his first eight big league seasons in Arlington. After that he bounced around and spent time with the White Sox, Giants, Cubs, Pirates, and most recently the Tigers. Holland last pitched in a MLB game on September 29, 2021, for the Detroit Tigers.
Derek Holland, former Texas Ranger, pushing for a comeback
Being a veteran lefty, with both starter and reliever experience under his belt, if he can get his stuff back, Holland could indeed find himself in a MLB clubhouse once again. That would be fun, really fun. Holland is one of those genuine guys that enjoys baseball and loves the fans, and consequently, the fans love him.
Over the course of his 13-year career, Holland has amassed an 8.7 bWAR, has an 82-83 record and a 4.62 ERA. His best seasons came with the Rangers in 2011 and 2013 when he started 32 and 33 games respectively with sub-four ERAs. In 2011 he went 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA and in 2013 he went 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA.
Former Texas Ranger, Derek Holland's 2011 World Series game four masterpiece
The performance of his career came on October 23, 2011, in game four of the World Series. Down in the series to the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1, game four felt like a must win for the Rangers. Holland rose to the occasion and helped knot the series at two games apiece. He ended up pitching 8 1/3 innings, allowed no runs on four hits, walked two, and struck out seven. Holland had stifled the Cardinals the day after they had scored 16 runs.
I had the pleasure of seeing this game in person. Accompanied by my wife Christin, and my dear friend Dave and his dad John, we got to witness excellence that night at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Given the stage, to date, it is the greatest pitching performance that I have personally ever witnessed.
In his tweet yesterday, Holland referenced that he doesn't want to look back and wonder, "what if". That is a sentiment that most of us can relate to, even if it doesn't pertain to pitching professionally. Props to former Texas Ranger, Derek Holland on continuing to chase the dream and leave it all on the field. Best of luck, to one of the good guys.