Rangers' Derek Holland Is Back In The Big Leagues

DALLAS — Lefthander Derek Holland was named the Rangers minor league pitcher of the month for April.

It is safe to say he won't be repeating in May.

After dominating the Triple-A Pacific Coast League for a month, Holland was promoted to the Rangers rotation after posting a 4-1, 0.93 record in six starts at Oklahoma City. At the time he was promoted to replace injured Matt Harrison, Holland's ERA was the ninth-lowest in professional baseball.

"He's done just about everything we've asked of him down there," club president Nolan Ryan said.

Though Holland, 23, made 21 starts in the majors last year, he was slowed during the spring by a knee injury. When he came back he had fallen behind the rest of the pitchers, so he went back to Oklahoma City. It's not like he spent a lot of time there previously. He made just one appearance there in 2009 before moving to the majors.

While Holland had some outstanding moments with the Rangers in 2009, he finished the season 8-13, 6.12. Part of it was probably due to the fatigue associated with a season being a month longer than in the minor leagues. He went 1-5, 10.43 over his last 30 days worth of starts.

The more significant issue was that Holland, who made just five appearances above Class A before being promoted last year, still needed to learn better pitch sequencing.
He seems to have made progress, based on his success in the minors.

"When you've got an opportunity, you've got to take it and that's what I want to make sure I do," Holland said. "I had an injury in spring training and knew it was going to be a fight to get back up here. I'm going to do my best to make it (permanent). That's my plan."


• Outfielder Chad Tracy was named the Rangers' minor league player of the month for April. Tracy hit .324 with six homers and 20 RBIs for Oklahoma City. Catcher Jose Felix was named defender of the month and lefthander Zach Philips was named the reliever of the month.

• Righthander Tommy Hunter (strained oblique) was activated from the disabled list and optioned to Oklahoma City. Like Holland, Hunter had a spot in the major league rotation for most of the 2009 season. After increasing his pitch count, he should be in position to be considered for a promotion by the end of May.