The Texas Rangers have had their share of ups and downs over the last couple of seasons. But they received some particularly painful news late this week, announcing that starter Derek Holland will miss most of the first part of the season after having surgery on his knee.
In a statement released by the team, Holland said he injured himself at his home and the damage was enough that he would require surgery.
I am devastated by this injury. It was a freak accident at home, resulting in a hard fall on my knee. As upsetting as it is, my goal is to begin rehab and get back on the mound as soon as possible.
Arthroscopic surgery was done on Friday, and cartilage was repaired behind his kneecap. There is no timetable for his return, but the 27-year old is expected to miss some time. The Rangers are looking at a possible midseason return, but are hopeful that he can earlier than that.
He was scheduled to be on the starting rotation for the Rangers this coming season, complimenting Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, and Martin Perez. The fifth spot on the rotation is now in question because of this situation. However one thing that doesn't appear to be in question is how the Rangers will handle it. Club general manager Jon Daniels noted on a Friday afternoon conference call that he would rather see someone within the organization step up rather than go looking for a free agent to fill the void.
I don't think looking elsewhere is realistic. We have been looking for pitching depth, and I expect we will add somebody. I expect it will be more in the depth category, rather than somebody at the front of the rotation. This is an opportunity for somebody to step up and seize the opportunity.
Texas is banged up on the mound, but the early prognosis shows a bright side. Colby Lewis was resigned to a Minor League contract this offseason, but has not pitched in the Majors since 2012. He has been recovering from elbow surgery to repair a torn ligament as well as surgery on his right hip back in August. Matt Harrison is also recovering from surgery, having a pair of operations on his back as well as on his right (non-throwing) shoulder. Both expect to be ready for Spring Training, which starts in just over a month.
As a side note on Holland, he went 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts for the Rangers last season. He is entering the third season of a five-year, $28.5 million contract that was signed just prior to the 2012 season.