Thursday, February 14, 2013
Derek Holland getting serious
By Richard Durrett
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland plans on striking a more serious tone this season after meeting with club officials this offseason and getting advice on how to improve his overall game.
Holland, who has done impersonations of Harry Caray and Arnold Schwarzenegger on radio and television, won't alter his personality. But the left-hander is putting even more of his focus on doing everything he can to improve following a 2012 season in which he battled injuries and inconsistency.
"It was something we talked about after the season," Holland said. "I want to be sure all my energy is where it needs to be. I didn't like the fact that some people took that stuff to mean I wasn't working hard or doing my best.
"I work extremely hard in the weight room. I work hard to be the best I can be. But I think I had a tough time saying no to things and doing so many interviews. I have to cut back and get my energy on the field."
Holland was 12-7 with a 4.67 ERA over 175 1/3 innings in 2012, one season after a solid second half and a memorable showing in Game 4 of the World Series (8 1/3 shutout innings vs. St. Louis). He had an illness early last season and then shoulder fatigue.
Holland met with Hall of Famer and Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan shortly after the season to get his advice on what he can do to improve his location on the mound and his mental game off it. Holland also talks regularly with the club's sports psychologist and stayed in Dallas this offseason to work more with the coaching staff.
"He gives off the vibe that he has something to prove," said general manager Jon Daniels, who added he was proud of how Holland approached the offseason. "He's taking it seriously. He's looking to eliminate some of the clutter, the distractions and focus on the task at hand. We've seen what he's capable of."