White Sox: The Statistical Plummet of Derek Holland

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 02: Derek Holland
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 02: Derek Holland /

White Sox took chance on veteran left-hander but he has failed to provide any positive value this season on the South Side.

For those of you who watched Derek Holland begin the 2017 season for the Chicago White Sox, it seemed as though he would possibly be a trade chip come July. While that ship has sailed, his value is also at rock bottom considering the fact he held an ERA below three (2.37) at the conclusion of May. What went wrong? Let’s take a deeper look at Holland’s free fall over the last several months.

Even though his start might have looked remarkable, it was inauspicious to say the least. Referring back to a previous article, Holland’s early season ERA was aided tremendously by poor defense even though his record wasn’t (4-4). All season, Holland has allowed thirteen unearned runs, however eleven of them came before the calendar flipped to June.

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Another issue of Holland’s is the base on balls. Even though he has only walked 66 men all year, they have come in 123.1 innings pitched. That means Holland is allowing 0.54 free passes every inning, or 4.83 per nine inning game. Anytime a pitcher gives away a base nearly five times per nine innings he has a problem, and this is a luxury Holland can not afford.

The crux of the matter regarding Holland is quite simple, that being the long ball. He has allowed 29 home runs through less then five months of action. While Holland managed to keep the ball in the yard a touch batter early this season, the cold weather was more conducive to those very results.

To illustrate this point better, all that needs to be done is a quick review of when Holland allowed the home runs. While he gave up just eight over his first ten starts, Holland became batting practice for hitters around the league after that and his shoddy pitching rewarded 21 fans in the bleachers with souvenirs (one while he pitched in relief).

When this is broken down even more, the numbers become astounding. Holland did give up 0.8 homers per start through the end of May, and a nearly identical 0.81 between then and now. Here is the catch. While he allowed those two totals,they are far from equal.

You see; Holland pitched 60.2 IP through ten starts. However, he has gone out to the mound another sixteen times since then (62.2 IP with two relief appearances), with less than desirable results. Regardless of the fact that he gave up 0.13 home runs per innings through May 31, Holland has allowed 0.34 long balls per every three outs he records.

Allowing over 0.1 home run per inning isn’t great, but giving up home runs at the rate he has the rest of 2017 has been brutal. The worst part of this is his HR/9 innings over this stretch, which sits at 3.04 home runs per regulation outing. No one is going to want these trends, especially a contending team looking for depth down the stretch.

All in all, Holland’s acquisition was a very smart one at the time, but has turned into a lost cause. When you are doing what the White Sox are doing in rebuilding, it makes sense to sign pitchers such as Holland to short-term deals however not all will work out the way you hope. The only option is to accumulate as many signings as possible, which in turn increases your chances at success.

Next: Home Runs Plague Lucas Giolito in First White Sox Start

I hope you like the recent call-ups, Sox fans. There will be many more over the coming years.