In 2018, lefty Derek Holland was one of the biggest surprises in the National League. Appearing in 36 games, 30 starts, with the San Francisco Giants, Holland posted a 3.57 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 23.3% strikeout rate, 9.2% walk rate, 1.00 HR/9, and a 2.2 fWAR. All of this came in 171.1 innings of work.
Holland appeared to be in a position to have a successful 2020 following his 2019 season. However, this would not come to fruition. After struggling with the Giants, he was designated for assignment and claimed off waiver by the Chicago Cubs where his struggles would continue.
Holland pitched in 51 games, with just eight being starts, in 2019. Logging 84.1 innings of work between the Giants and Cubs, Holland owned a 6.08 ERA, 6.10 FIP, 2.13 HR/9, 12.0% walk rate, and a 21.8% strikeout rate.
Due to his 2019 struggles, when Holland signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent is was no guarantee that he would earn a spot on the roster let alone the starting rotation. Well, after Archer’s surgery and Holland’s success in the Grapefruit League, he will be a part of the team’s starting rotation in 2020.
Holland will be a veteran presence in the Pirate starting rotation in 2020. He has both postseason and World Series experience, and can be a veteran brain for the team’s young starters to pick in 2020.