Previewing Holland’s First Start by R.J. Anderson May 22, 2009 Tonight will mark the starting debut of highly anticipated Rangers prospect, Derek L. Holland. As many of you know, Holland has already pitched in the bigs this year, seven times, oddly enough he registered his first career blown save before his first major league start. Go figure. So far his strikeout, walk, and homerun ratios have been off, leaving Holland with a 5.65 FIP, higher than most of his minor league career’s FIP combined. Holland’s fastball has above average velocity and horizontal movement for a left-hander. He featured the pitch prominently in relief work. As for specifics, Holland throws it between 92-94 and generally sees it break in to lefties around eight inches. His slider is registering as breaking in to lefties. It’ll be interesting to see how and if Holland adjusts from throwing his fastball 80% of the time as he transitions back to the rotation. Opposing Holland will be the Houston Astros. The only offenses in the NL scoring less than Houston are the D-Backs, Giants, and Padres, which tells you just about everything you need to know. The Astros do have some ‘fear’-inducing hitters like Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence, and Miguel Tejada, but the rest of their lineup is lacking at this point. Houston strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk too much, so that bodes well for the youngster. Two things that may not bode well: his durability and efficiency. Here are each of Holland’s appearances listed with innings and pitches thrown. 2.1 IP 42 P 3 IP 48 P 1 IP 29 P 2 IP 16 P 0.1 IP 3 P 1.2 IP 20 P 2.2 IP 58 P An average of 16.6 pitches per inning with a max of 58 pitches. It’s been a while since Holland extended beyond 60, and at this rate he would reach that point by the fourth inning. Without a DH, you have to wonder if Holland lasts more than twice through the lineup tomorrow, no matter how well he’s pitching.