Tag: Derek Holland

Derek Holland to White Sox: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Derek Holland will get a much-needed fresh start in 2017, as he signed a one-year deal with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

The White Sox announced the signing after MLB.com’s TR Sullivan was the first to report Holland’s decision, and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News shared the length of the contract. 

Grant also reported the deal could be worth up to $8 million and provided some further context to the move:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported slightly different terms, tweeting that the contract is worth a base of $6 million with as much as $1 million in incentives.

The Texas Rangers declined their $11 million contract option on Holland in November, which made him a free agent and freed him up to sign with any team.

It wasn’t a surprise to see the Rangers move on from Holland after his struggles over the previous two seasons and inability to stay on the field since 2013. 

Holland has appeared in just 38 games over the previous three seasons, and his performance on the mound has been less than stellar with a 4.30 ERA in just 203 innings during that span. 

Grant wrote about some of the other issues that have plagued Holland during his injury-riddled run since 2014:

His average fastball velocity dropped to 91.7 mph in 2016 from 93.6 in 2013. The difference in speed between his secondary pitches is now just 5 mph where it once was 7.5 mph. It adds up to a recipe for guys being better able to identify pitches and being able to wait for mistakes with more assurance they will come. The Rangers wanted him to throw his changeup more in 2016 and the usage did grow, but at a microscopic level: Less than one percent.

Holland completed just 107.1 innings in 2016, going 7-9 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.41 WHIP.

At just 30 years old, Holland will have a chance to reinvent himself as a member of the White Sox. His career ERA of 4.35 ERA leaves something to be desired, but the veteran southpaw did manage to go 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 2013.

Given how much of a struggle it has been for Holland to take the mound every fifth day, he has a lot to prove next season if he hopes to continue his MLB career as a starting pitcher. He does get a clean slate and will have ample opportunity to prove there is more in the tank than he’s been able to show lately. 

Holland could provide great value as part of a weak free-agent class, and he will have a chance to become an important part of Chicago’s rotation after the team dealt Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox.

Although Holland figures to slot behind the likes of Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and James Shields, he gives the White Sox a veteran presence and depth at the back end of their pitching staff until youngsters Lucas Giolito (22) and Reynaldo Lopez (22) are ready to step up.

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Derek Holland Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Rangers SP

Citing a source Monday, Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported the Texas Rangers “would be more than willing to trade” starting pitcher Derek Holland before the 2017 season.

Continue for updates.

Holland’s Contract Driving Factor in Trade Talks

Monday, Oct. 31

Although the Rangers own an $11 million club option for 2017 and an $11.5 million club option for 2018, Heyman noted they would like to trade Holland “in order to avoid keeping him on the books going forward.”

Heyman also pointed out the Rangers and Holland agreed to a $1.5 million buyout for 2017 and a $1 million buyout for 2018 if the team doesn’t want to keep the left-hander around but can’t find a trade partner.

Holland, who has been a member of the Rangers for his entire career, made 22 appearances in 2016 with a 4.95 ERA, a 1.41 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 107.1 innings. However, Heyman called the southpaw “oft-injured,” and he made just 10 appearances in 2015 and six in 2014.

Holland was a reliable innings-eater from 2011 to 2013. He was particularly impressive in 2013, when he posted a 3.42 ERA in a career-high 213 innings:

He hasn’t been the same durable pitcher since, though he is only 30 years old and should have a couple of years remaining in his prime if he can rediscover his form. The fact that he has proved to be an effective left-handed starter should generate some interest on the trade market.

The Rangers have plenty of firepower in their starting rotation with Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish and likely wouldn’t feel much of an impact if they trade Holland. Texas managed to finish with the best record in the American League this year (95-67) without a formidable season from the lefty and would get something in return if it decides to trade him.

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Derek Holland’s Clutch Return Makes Rangers a Potential Postseason Danger

The comedic impressions, the all-around goofiness and even the recent “Wild Thing” haircut have become staples of Derek Holland‘s public persona during his seven-year career. 

It has made him a beloved player within his own clubhouse, a well-liked man within the game, a go-to interview for media members and a favorite for Texas Rangers fans. It has also made him marketable, gaining him television appearances and endorsement deals.

None of that would matter if Holland could not produce on the mound, though, and through most of his career, he has. But his downfall has been that over the last two seasons, injuries are associated with him as much as his fun-loving personality.

This season, it was a torn muscle behind his left shoulder that cost him more than four months on the disabled list—last year it was an off-field knee injury that sidelined him for the first five months of the season—but he has pitched mostly like a front-line starter since his return. That is a key reason why the Rangers, if they hang on to make the postseason as a wild card or winner of the American League West, can match their rotation with any in the Junior Circuit.

Holland talked about what he needs to do to help the team down the stretch, via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

It sucks that I am as fresh as I am, but I need to use this to my benefit and help these guys. I don’t know what the [innings] plan is from here on out, but I’m just happy they let me have the chances to go out there for nine innings.

I feel like everything is good. My job is to be prepared every five days. Now, it’s go time.

It has been since his return on Aug. 19. Aside from a few so-so outings, Holland has been a shutdown part of the rotation, compiling a 3.13 ERA in six starts. His best of those came three turns ago when he threw a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts against the Baltimore Orioles. He followed that with eight innings of one-run ball against the Los Angeles Angels. He gave up only three hits in each of those starts.

The numbers should not be shocking. In his five September starts last season after he returned from the microfracture surgery on his left knee, he had a 1.31 ERA and pitched less than seven innings in only one of those.

“What he did last September was eye-popping,” pitching coach Mike Maddux told Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram after the Baltimore start. “What he did [against the Orioles] was like what he did last September.”

There will likely be some mild innings limits on Holland for the rest of the month—he threw 116 and 113 pitches, respectively, in those starts against the Orioles and Angels—but he feels good right now, and whatever limits exist, they should not affect him pitching in the playoffs.

His next start is scheduled for Wednesday against the Houston Astros and their ace, Dallas Keuchel, easily the most critical series the teams have played against each other since the Astros moved to the league in 2013.

“We know he’s been out to 116,” manager Jeff Banister told reporters. “I don’t know if we’ll be as liberal with that number. That’s not to say that we don’t go to that number. We haven’t taken the gloves off just yet.”

The Rangers’ postseason hopes are still delicate at this point. They are 13 games over .500 in the second half and have pulled themselves to within a half-game of the Astros in the AL West, though their lead for the second wild-card spot is at just one game over the Minnesota Twins.

If they manage to hold on and earn a berth, their rotation stacks up with any the league will throw against them. In a one-game playoff, they have an ace in Cole Hamels, who pitched seven innings and allowed three runs against the Astros on Monday. That is the kind of experienced, reliable arm any team would take in a do-or-die situation.

If the Rangers find themselves in a series, they can run out a trio of Hamels, Holland and Yovani Gallardo. That could be potentially as good as any threesome in the league, and they can use Colby Lewis, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Nick Martinez or Martin Perez as a fourth. Those aren’t bad back-end options to have.

Over the previous 30 days, just before Holland’s return and going into Monday, Texas’ rotation had the fourth-highest FanGraphs WAR in the AL in that time frame, and its 3.67 ERA was third-lowest. And even though wins aren’t a great way to gauge effectiveness, the group was tied for the most wins (15) in that span.

“We’ve got some different animals out there,” Maddux told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News on Aug. 30. “Our rotation has been improved. We’re in a good spot.”

It is possible that spot could become great if Holland continues giving them run-preventing starts through this month and into October.


All quotes, unless otherwise specified, have been acquired firsthand by Anthony Witrado. Follow Anthony on Twitter @awitrado and talk baseball here.

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Derek Holland Injury: Updates on Rangers Pitcher’s Knee and Return

Derek Holland is nearing a return for the Texas Rangers. 

The 27-year-old left-handed starter, who has missed the entire 2014 campaign while recovering from knee surgery, was scratched from his scheduled rehab start Sunday, but manager Ron Washington didn’t see it as a major setback, via ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins:

Just back spasms. Just got to see how long it takes. He’s supposed to throw Sunday and (we’ll) see how long it takes (to recover). If the doctor gives him clearance, he’ll be able to still get a start. If not, then it will just have to adjust, just go day-to-day and see.

He will in fact get another rehab start before September call-ups, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s Jeff Wilson noted:

Holland probably won’t help Texas make up 27 games in the AL West, but it will certainly be good for the team to get some starts out of him before the 2015 season. 

Signed through 2016 with club options for 2017 and 2018, he is a big part of the team’s future. If he regains his form from last season when he finished with a 3.42 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 189 strikeouts in 213.0 innings, it will be a really positive sign for the Rangers’ rotation moving forward. 

Either way, it will just be nice to see him back on the mound after the lengthy absence.


Contract info via Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

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Texas Rangers Injury Report: Updates Heading into Spring Training

The Texas Rangers are just a few weeks away from opening up spring training in Surprise, Ariz.

Luckily for the club, most of its roster is filled with healthy players getting ready for the day-to-day grind. However, there are a few players who will not be joining the Rangers. There are some who will have a tougher time getting back into the groove because of injuries.

Derek Holland will obviously be one of those guys who won’t be in Surprise. He is recovering from knee surgery and won’t be available until around the All-Star break.

Here are injury updates on a couple of other players looking to make a comeback in 2014.


Matt Harrison

Matt Harrison made just two starts last season before it was cut short due to two back surgeries on a herniated disk.

The 28-year-old has been throwing for quite some time now. He is expected to be ready to go by the time spring training rolls around. The Dallas Morning News’ Gerry Fraley reported that he successfully completed a bullpen session on Jan. 21, throwing 35 pitches.

He will also look like a different guy when Texas fans see him in Surprise. Fraley says Harrison has dropped about 30 pounds during his rehab program.

Spring training should be very beneficial to Harrison’s comeback this season considering where he is now.


Colby Lewis

The club’s most successful playoff pitcher in history hasn’t pitched in a big league game since July 18, 2012.

Colby Lewis was signed to a minor league deal back on Nov. 23, which included an invite to spring training. He will be coming back from multiple surgeries on his elbow and hip.

With Holland out for the first few months, Lewis could be in line for a rotation spot. He has gone 32-29 since 2010 and is 4-1 in the postseason.

In an interview on KRLD-FM, Lewis said that his hip is great and it is the best he has felt in four or five years.

That is what Rangers fans are hoping for.

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Derek Holland Down: Texas Rangers Must Now Go All-In on Masahiro Tanaka

According to this tweet by Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers‘ rotation took a huge blow Friday:

The Rangers must now work quickly to find a viable replacement in the No. 2 spot that Holland was expected to man. Without Derek Holland, this rotation is not World Series-caliber, and his extended absence likely knocks Texas down a level in the American League’s current pecking order of contenders.

That is, unless the Rangers go all-in and sign Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. Here are a couple of reasons the Rangers should now press harder than ever to sign Tanaka.

One: He is the only pitcher available in free agency who could adequately replace Holland until midseason, when he is expected to return to the rotation. Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana will be cheaper, but they both have been highly inconsistent over their careers.

Also, since Tanaka has never pitched in the majors he would have an instant advantage of unfamiliarity over hitters who have never faced him. He has an impressive repertoire, and although it isn’t as deadly as that of Yu Darvish, he will have the element of surprise on his side for at least the first part of this season.

He and Darvish would form a killer one-two punch at the top of the rotation, followed by Martin Perez, Matt Harrison and a No. 5 starter, which still seems up in the air.

Two: Tanaka made sense for Texas to begin with, even before Holland’s freak injury. He is 25 years old, which is generally a comfortable age to hand a guy a massive deal. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Tanaka could easily earn a deal in the $125 million range.

Before Holland’s injury, the Rangers probably would not have been in serious bidding for Tanaka. But their situation has become desperate. They must at least replace Holland’s production, and I don’t see any other free-agent option who could do that.

The Rangers will have the money needed to sign Tanaka. The team is entering into a 20-year television deal with Fox Sports Southwest that will pay it $3 billion over the life of the contract, which is worth $80 million per season. Per season.

This new deal should give the Rangers plenty more confidence in handing Tanaka an albatross contract. He would be here long term, and he would strengthen the rotation even more when Holland does return.

I’m on record here at B/R saying that Texas should pass on Tanaka. But the current situation couldn’t have taken a more dramatic turn. General manager Jon Daniels needs to take even more dramatic action now.

Signing Tanaka will repair the Rangers’ rotation for now until Holland returns. When Holland takes the mound again, the Rangers’ rotation would be the best in baseball.

This is about a short-term fix as well as long-term sustainability. Daniels needs to make this happen.

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Texas Rangers Options for Replacing Derek Holland Until Midseason

Texas Rangers might be weighing trade options with bringing in a starting pitcher for replacing Derek Holland who is out until midseason after he suffered a knee injury on Tuesday.

Sportswriter Anthony Andro of FoxSportsSouthwest.com reported the news via Twitter.

Also per Andro, “Holland has had knee problems in the past but those were with his right knee. Tweaked in (start) in 2010 and again later that season.”

Holland is the projected No. 2 starter for the Rangers by MLB.com. You can see the full depth chart listed in the embedded image below also found on the Rangers’ website.

So where does this put the Rangers for the start of the 2014 season?

General manager Jon Daniels shouldn’t panic as the Rangers have a solid pitching staff. But, Holland’s health will be a big question moving forward for the team and the uncertainty might sway Daniels into making a move. What options does Daniels have?

The Rangers have Prince Fielder at first base and still have a chance to sign a free-agent bat.

Mitch Moreland could be on the trading block for the Rangers if they are looking to add another starter. Also, per staff writer Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times in a November 2013 article, Moreland could be a good fit for the Tampa Bay Rays. This might mean that David Price, who was once rumored to be on the trade market per Topkin, could make his way over to Arlington.

However according to Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune, the Rays are considering keeping Price on the team for the upcoming season.

They are willing to listen on Price, who has two seasons until free agency, but it’s going to take a lot — in terms of young talent — to get him. Fair conclusion: They haven’t been made a good-enough offer yet.

In essence, the Rays are waiting to see if someone makes it worth their while to trade Price and take the accompanying step back team-wise.

Are Moreland and possibly other prospects enough to reel in Price? Or, do the Rangers look towards free agency?

Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is in America looking to make the move to an MLB team per multiple reports. And via T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers are monitoring the Tanaka situation closely.

There are also a couple of other available free agents out there in Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, but those two pitchers wouldn’t be a good enough fit to fill in as the No. 2 starter.

If the Rangers go after a pitcher now, it will certainly be someone who can make a difference in the long run especially when Holland is healthy. Jimenez and Santana are too shaky for the Rangers to bring in, but nonetheless Daniels could still look at them as free-agent options.

With Holland’s future unclear at the moment, what do the Rangers do moving forward? For a team that was unimpressed by Matt Garza in 2013, per columnist Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, the Rangers could strongly be looking to acquire Price for 2014 Opening Day.

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Derek Holland Injury: Updates on Pitcher’s Knee and Recovery After Fall at Home

Updates from Saturday, Jan. 11

Richard Durrett of ESPN provides Derek Holland‘s description of what occurred:

It was Holland’s dog, Wrigley, a boxer, who caused the starter to buckle on the stairs of his home and injure his left knee badly enough that he needed arthroscopic surgery Friday morning to repair torn cartilage. 

“He was running up the stairs and clipped me,” Holland said Saturday. “I hit my knee on the step, and if it wasn’t for me grabbing the rail, I might have fallen all the way down the stairs and cracked my head open.”

—End of Update—

Original Text:

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland could be out for some time after undergoing offseason knee surgery following a freak injury resulting from a hard fall at his home, according to The Dallas Morning News‘ Gerry Fraley on Twitter:

As The Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s Drew Davison points out, Holland released a statement expressing his anguish following the mishap:

Losing the 27-year-old left-hander for an extended period of time is sure to hurt the Rangers in the early part of 2014. After all, Holland has won at least 10 games in each of the past three seasons with Texas, finishing 2013 with a career-best 3.42 ERA.

Holland has gone 49-38 in five seasons with the Rangers and boasts a 3-0 postseason record since 2010. 

Holland is heading into the third year of a five-year, $28.5 million contract with the Rangers that includes $11 and $11.5 million club options for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, respectively, according to Spotrac.com.

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Texas Rangers: Projecting the 2014 Starting Rotation

There is only one spot left undecided in the Texas Rangers starting rotation for 2014.

It is presumably for the fourth or fifth spot. The team has three lefties in Derek Holland, Martin Perez and Matt Harrison, and Yu Darvish is the lone righty.

Last season, Harrison started the year at the top of the rotation and was followed by Darvish. It will be different when next season starts, but not much. Texas fans will get to see what the rotation would have looked like last season if it weren’t plagued with injuries.

So without further ado, here is the Rangers’ projected starting rotation for next season.


All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Live Blog: Live Updates and Analysis

The Texas Rangers (42-32) defeated the St. Louis Cardinals (47-37) 6-4 at Busch Stadium on Friday night.

Neal Cotts (4-1) earned the win in relief, Trevor Rosenthal (1-1) suffered his first loss and Joe Nathan tallied his 23rd save of the season.

Nelson Cruz led the way with three RBI and Derek Holland recovered from a rough start to throw seven innings and receive a no-decision.

Holland gave up four runs on four hits in the first two innings, but would settle down and retire the final 12 hitters he faced. He walked three and struck out four in a strong finish. He also went 0-for-2 at the plate with a walk and a run scored.

Tyler Lyons started for the Cardinals but only lasted 1.2 innings giving up four runs on three hits with three walks. Lyons is now winless in his last four starts. The Cardinals have the best record in baseball, but are just 5-5 in their last 10.

Allen Craig added a two-run double to increase his season total to 57 RBI. Carlos Beltran earned his 46th RBI in the first inning, but flew out to the wall in left-center field to end the game.

This was the Rangers’ first regular season trip to Busch Stadium and the first since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.

The Rangers lost games six and seven in Busch Stadium en route to their second consecutive World Series loss. It was the Cardinals’ 11th World Series title.

Saturday’s Game 2 is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. and features Martin Perez (0-1) against Shelby Miller (8-4).

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