24-year-old left-hander, Derek Holland, is the Texas Rangers' no. 5 starter, without question—as of right now.
Tommy Hunter is back in the bigs and healthy, so the confidence in Holland's abilities seem to be sitting high.
To many Rangers' fans, Derek Holland is a paradox. In terms of raw-ability, and "stuff" Holland continually displays the makeup that has kept his name off of the table in most trade talks—both this year and in years past.
However, ability aside, Holland has been up-and-down all year long. For an example of this "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" streak of Holland's, you need look no further than his last two starts.
Two starts ago, Holland didn't make it out of the first inning. Against Florida, he allowed 4 hits and 5 earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning. Tommy Hunter made his 2011 debut in relief of Holland that day and many though he'd slide into his rotation slot as well.
But in the "Dutch Oven's" most recent start, (he starts tonight's game in Oakland at 9:05 PM CST) he was absolutely lights-out as he struck out 7 and allowed 4 hits—this time over 9 innings—in the complete game victory.
His last start was against AL West Division rival, Oakland as well—so here's hoping he can rekindle the same magic he did last week.
In the meantime, it's time to explore some possibilities for the Texas Rangers in terms of trades. What type of packages and for whom, might the Rangers throw around in the upcoming weeks prior to the MLB Trade Deadline?
After all, if Holland is the weak leak in the Rangers' rotation, he could be a strength in the bullpen...