San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Derek Holland has been a bargain. In fact, he has been one of the best bargains in baseball.
Holland came to the San Francisco Giants this past offseason on a minor league pact. There were no assurances of playing time. Initially, it was envisioned that Holland could be the long-man out of the bullpen — those were simpler times.
Now, the rotation has been decimated by injuries. However, the oft-injured Holland still remains. And, he has been a key piece of this rotation. It is not fun trying to imagine where the Giants would be without Holland.
On Sunday, Holland completed 5.2 innings while only giving up two earned runs against a stout Diamondbacks lineup. He is not an innings-eater. However, that same lineup swallowed up two Giants rookie starters.
Holland has been a pleasant surprise, and an even better bargain. He has posted a 3.88 ERA with an eye-pleasing 9.1 K/9. His 5-8 record is not great, but he has been Cained more than his fair share.
He has gotten better as the season has progressed. He started the season off slow, but has posted a 2.65 ERA in the second half. Part of this could be better overall command. His monthly walk and home run totals continue to improve.
These improvements we are seeing do not appear to be a fluke, either. Holland has credited Giants pitching coach Curt Young with his turnaround.
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Given his current performance, the San Francisco Giants would have no problem trading Holland. He is on an affordable contract, and could be a boost for teams in need for pitching.
However, these may be the very reasons the Giants hold on to Holland. The return would not be great for an August trade. Additionally, Holland’s contract is not prohibitive. Trading him would give the Giants modest salary relief.
Besides these points, Holland has been great for the Giants. His Water Jug celebration and spot-on impressions appear to be a good fit for the Giants.
Holland is only getting better as the season progresses. Prior to his extensive injury history, Holland looked like a quality middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. Then, the baseball gods intervened.
He missed substantial time due to injuries, and struggled to regain form. This season has been a career renaissance for Holland. As a result, it would behoove the Giants to see how he finishes the season.
The San Francisco Giants know they will need to add to their rotation this offseason. They will likely avoid high-priced free agent starting pitchers.
Retaining Holland seems like a good idea for insurance purposes. Also, he looks like a reliable starter yet again. Regardless of what the Giants do, signing Holland has been one of the better bargains in baseball this season.