- Mike Petriello, ESPN Insider
Panic! Texas Rangers left-hander Derek Holland seriously injured his left knee in a fall at home earlier this month, likely costing him half the season and depriving the Rangers of their No. 2 starter behind Yu Darvish. There's no way around the obvious: This is bad, potentially very bad, for a Texas team that has to contend with the A's, Angels and aggressive Mariners in the American League West.
Holland broke out in a big way in 2013, giving Texas 213 innings of 3.42 ERA ball that was closely backed up by the advanced metrics FIP (3.44) and xFIP (3.68). After several years of showing nearly as much inconsistency as talent, Holland managed to cut down his home run problem significantly in 2013, relying heavily on his slider and sinker to keep the ball in the yard while continuing to miss bats.
Now, Holland is expected to be out until around midseason, and if that's all it is, Texas will take it -- the Rangers got burned in a similar situation last year when Matt Harrison was expected to return near midseason after April back surgery, yet after continued setbacks, he never did reappear.
But in the meantime, Texas has a hole to fill and a pennant race in which to compete. There are a few directions they could go, but they are set up in such a way that they don't need to go add another pitcher.
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1dAndrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews