As Vicente Padilla is destined for the disabled list for the Texas Rangers, like Padilla has been since he was traded to the Rangers from the Phillies, obviously the first person to take Padilla's place on the roster is Texas young arm Derek Holland.
Holland is one of the many young Texas prospects that also include hard thrower Neftali Feliz; however, at the time the Rangers front office does not believe he is ready for major league hitting. He will be making his starting debut in a very familiar place, Houston.
Holland, up until today, has made all his appearances from the bullpen this season. He has been very successful from the bullpen so far and his only problems came against the Angels when he gave up five runs. Other than that, Holland hasn't given up more than one run in any of his other seven appearances.
Despite that, I do not believe this timing for Holland is most desirable. Holland has just come off an outing in which he gave up five run to the Angels, that has to do something to your confidence level.
However, the location in which he is playing is to his advantage as he will be playing in Texas, a place that he has probably gotten used to by now, even if he won't be in the small confines of the Rangers Stadium; he will be in in Minute Maid Stadium which is bigger than the Rangers'.
So maybe Houston is what the rookie Holland needs, even though the Rangers stadium will cheer for Holland, he needs to start where the stadium is bigger. And here is why.
Holland at Home
8 Hits, 6 Runs, 4 Strikeouts, 5 Walks, 5.1 IP
Holland on the Road
5 Hits, 1 Run, 4 Strikeouts, 2 Walks, 7.2 IP
Needless to say, making his debut on the road could be exactly what Holland needs to start strong and grow his confidence. Holland has shown some very good control at times, but others seem to look confused on the mound.
However, with manager and pitching coach both preaching throwing in the strike zone, I cannot see this problem manifesting throughout his career, unless he has some serious mechanical issues, which he doesn't.
Overall, Hollands career starts here. If he has a very successful one or if he is a bust is yet to be known, but I wish the best of luck to this kid on a very promising career.
Prediction for tonights game:
Holland goes 6 IP 7 Hits 3 ER 5 BB 6 Ks in a 3-5 win.