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Saturday, March 24, 2012
Derek Holland works on sinker to righties

By Richard Durrett

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland went to the mound on a back field at Surprise Recreation Campus on Friday afternoon with a plan. Specifically, Holland wanted to see if his work in his bullpen sessions recently had paid off with a sinker that had some bite inside to right-handed hitters.

Holland calls it a "ride back," meaning it moves inside. But to throw it effectively, Holland has to be sure his release point and target is in the right spot. He felt he found that Friday and was able to get his work in like he wanted.

Holland went five innings and threw 67 pitches. He gave up a run (on a home run in the first inning) on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Holland's velocity was 92 to 95 mph (just where he wants it).

"I did what I set out to do," Holland said. "I threw some good changeups and curves, too."

Holland has been working on the sinker with Greg Maddux, especially in bullpen sessions. Holland was pleased with the movement, just not the location and where it was starting, so that's something they worked on. Maddux has also shared some pointers with Holland on his defense in PFP (pitcher's fielding practice).

Holland will likely have two more starts this spring. He will throw one more inning and 15 or so more pitches his next outing and then maybe dial it down a notch before he starts in the regular season, likely the second game of the year against the White Sox.