The Texas Rangers surprised many in 2015, winning the AL West despite having ace Yu Darvish on the shelf all season due to Tommy John surgery. The work carried out by newly-christened Manager of the Year Jeff Banister in his first season in Arlington was impressive, but the club failed to preserve a 2-0 series lead in the ALDS, ultimately losing to the Toronto Blue Jays in five pressure-packed games.
For lefty Derek Holland, the season’s end was not a welcome sight. Holland called in to KRLD-FM 103.5 The Fan last week to discuss a few things, and on the call he took the time to discuss his personal frustrations as well as how the Rangers’ season came to a close. It was Holland, after all, who took the mound in Game 4 against Toronto and failed to get into the third inning as the Jays cruised to an 8-4 win to even up the series at two games apiece.
The 29-year-old had another injury-riddled season in 2015, managing just 10 starts a year after totaling just six appearances in 2014. That, coupled with the Rangers’ early postseason exit, clearly frustrated him…and he conveyed as much in his radio chat, as quoted by the Dallas Morning News:
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I definitely wanted to take a few days off to get away from it. Just the way the season ended, you know, I was very upset with it. I didn't do my job and that's really what I felt upset about, and it really bothered the crap out of me because I'm a hard worker, I care about my teammates, I care about my team, and to have it finish the way it did, I felt like it was a letdown for myself. I was very disappointed in that, but at the end of the day, it did fuel the fire and I'm looking forward to this next season.
I'm getting out there and my main goal, obviously is — I like to joke about and I'm sure the fans always want to make these — well, not the fans, I should say the 'haters' like to make these comments of, 'Well, why don't you try to stay healthy?' If it was that easy, everybody would do it. Everybody would be doing it. My goal is just to get out there, prepare myself, get ready to go, and get back to being Derek the way I was before.
As he prepares for 2016, Holland definitely sounds quite focused toward having a more successful and injury-free campaign.