Once a rising star with the Texas Rangers, Derek Holland‘s career has taken an unexpected turn as he’s now the fifth starter for the San Francisco Giants.
On a one-year deal with the Giants, and Madison Bumgarner returning at some point, you wonder what his future will look like on this team.
In my honest opinion, Chris Stratton has earned a permanent spot in the rotation. That means that when Bumgarner is back, baring another injury to a starter, it will be a battle between Holland and Ty Blach for the fifth spot.
At this point, Holland and Blach have been about the same. Holland’s ERA is higher, but his WHIP is much lower.
Holland is also striking out over a batter an inning, while Blach isn’t anywhere close to that ratio.
If I had to pick today, I’d go with Holland over Blach — unless we’re playing the Dodgers.
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I’ve been a huge fan of Holland’s for a while and think he would have been a top pitcher in the league had it not been for injuries.
The 31-year-old still has a lot of pitches in him as he’s only thrown over 200 innings in a season once. I trust him in big games to keep us in it for at least five innings.
He’s last at least 4.2 innings in every start this year, and he’s gone six innings in two of his starts. Holland also hasn’t given up more than 4 earned runs in a game this year.
If you give me a number five starter that can go out every fifth day and give me five or six quality innings, I’ll take that every time.
If for some reason Holland struggles before Bumgarner comes back, then I think he will work out great in the bullpen as a long reliever — as would Blach.
All-in-all, Blach and Holland are about the same pitcher in my eyes at this point. Normally you would give the younger guy the shot, but I value Holland’s experience on the mound.
Having said that, with Holland’s strikeout rate this year, he could be really nasty coming out of the pen for an inning or two.
Friday night will go a long way in determining Holland’s future with the Giants. If he can have a quality start against the scuffling Dodgers, it would be huge going forward.