The veteran left hander threw two scoreless innings in his spring training debut. The White Sox are counting on Derek Holland to contribute in 2017.
If Thursday’s game was any indication of how Derek Holland will pitch, then the Chicago White Sox have a lot to look forward to. The veteran lefty threw two scoreless innings and allowed just two hits against the San Francisco Giants. It was Holland’s first appearance this spring.
The 30-year-old signed a one year $6 million contract with the White Sox. He was 7-9 in 22 appearances, 20 of them starts, for the Texas Rangers last season. For Holland, this will be a chance for him to show he can still be a valuable asset to a team. Over his career he has only made over 30 starts three times.
"“The biggest disappointment from this whole thing was the walks to left-handed hitters. That’s a strength of mine and I kind of let those get away from me. But it’s the first game. We’ve still got more things we want to work on.”-Derek Holland"
The White Sox can definitely be happy with that. Holland did well and even pitched out of a bases-loaded jam. The walks were an issue but it was only his first start. With the loss of Chris Sale, they will look to him as a veteran presence. After all, he could be the veteran if Jose Quintana is traded prior to opening day.
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Pitching is going to be very important for this team. They have a lot of depth in the minors but that will take time to mature and develop. If Holland is successful, that will help in the transition period.
Another thing to note is the White Sox could try to flip him for another prospect if he has a good season. They don’t need him to have a superstar caliber season but it would go a long way if they want to trade him. Pitching is always at a premium come playoffs. Holland may be able to add some value to a contender. Ultimately, that is probably what Rick Hahn is hoping. If he can contribute to the success of the team during the season and they can use him as a trade chip, then the White Sox come out winners.
It’s only spring training but it’s good to see Holland have a good debut. Now he has the monkey off his back and doesn’t have to worry about his debut in a new uniform. Although he has the regular season, throwing in the spring can help him get acquainted to his new team. Hopefully he continues to do well and sets himself up for a successful 2017.