The White Sox signed starting pitcher Derek Holland to fill a much-needed spot. Now a part of Chicago’s rotation, what should we expect from him?
The Chicago White Sox made a huge trade last week, shipping Chris Sale to Boston in exchange for three prospects. They also received pitching prospect Lucas Giolito from Washington for Adam Eaton. However, there is still a void in the rotation. It was announced Wednesday afternoon that the team signed veteran Derek Holland.
After eight good years with the Texas Rangers, he will be moving north. Holland is familiar with the American League, so I don’t expect a big jump in stats. What are the reasonable projections for him next season?
Holland’s best full season came in 2011, when he posted a 3.95 ERA, 1.354 WHIP and 16-5 record in 32 starts. His most recent season was decent, at best. After pitching a combined 95.2 innings in his last two innings, he pitched 107.1. Holland had a 4.95 ERA, 1.407 WHIP and 7-9 record. Like I said, decent.
Holland’s strikeout numbers have greatly dropped off since 2010. He had an 8.5 K/9, but a lowly 5.6 K/9 at the end of this year. On the other side, his BB/9 has roughly stayed the same, 3.8 in 2010 and 2.9 in 2016.
It’s also worth noting that Holland has lost a bit of velocity on his fastball, 93.4 in 2013 to 90.7 in 2016. This affected his strikeout numbers, a drop of 10 percent. If he can keep his ground ball rate around 40 percent, then I think he will be effective.
Holland will be joining a team with a less effective offense. The White Sox scored 4.23 runs per game, 20th in the league. The Rangers scored 4.70 runs per game, eighth in the league. Similar to Shelby Miller and the Atlanta Braves, he can pitch well but won’t earn enough wins to help you.
He will pitch behind Jose Quintana (for how much longer?), James Shields, Carlos Rodon and Miguel Gonzalez. I do think Giolito will get the call sooner rather than later.
The White Sox are hoping for a bounce back from Holland. He missed about two months with knee and shoulder issues. He could be somewhere else at the end of the season, or a member of the White Sox in 2017 if he performs well.
Holland is a streaming option in standard leagues, at best. In AL-only or deeper leagues, he is draftable for bench depth.