While we waited for the organization to contend again, Derek Holland was a good pitcher for the Chicago White Sox in 2017.
In the 25th round of the 2006 Draft, the Texas Rangers selected former Chicago White Sox pitcher Derek Holland. Drafted out of community college, the lefty made his presence known. After shooting through the Rangers system, Holland made his debut in 2009, but it did not go the way he and the Rangers had hoped.
In 138 innings, the 22-year-old had an ERA of 6.38. He struck out 107 batters but could not help giving up hits after hits. Throughout Holland’s career, he always struggled to stay healthy. He often bounced between Triple-A and the Majors. Some instances for rehab assignments, other instances for performance issues. He definitely found it hard to stay on the major league roster.
After the end of the 2016 season, the Rangers declined Holland’s option which made him a free agent. He had a career 4.35 ERA with Texas after 985 innings. In 2017, eight years after his debut, he played for a team that was not affiliated with the Rangers for the first time in his professional career. Following the Chris Sale trade that sent him to Boston, the White Sox filled the hole with Holland for $6 million
Unfortunately, Holland still found difficulty keeping his ERA under six. In 135 innings for the White Sox, he finished his 2017 with a 6.20 ERA. Despite the horrific ERA, it is worth noting he held a 2.37 ERA through his first 10 starts. He fell onto some hard times and had an ERA of 10.36 from June through September. On September 5, he was released.
He seemed to be a promising arm that was meant to be a bridge from Sale to the next true ace. That he was, but unfortunately, not as long as the organization had hoped for. After departing from the south side, Holland pitched for the Giants in 2018 and half of 2019. He was then traded to the Cubs at the trade deadline. The Cubs decided not to bring him back for another year so they parted ways at the end of the season.
Holland is entering 2020 under a minor-league contract with the Pirates with an invite to Spring Training. Baseball-Reference projects him to pitch 99 innings with a 5.00 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Holland was solid, but only for 10 starts. Fortunately, the White Sox have since been able to beef up the rotation.