This is the second noteworthy change of the day in San Francisco’s rotation, as the team previously demoted 2018 rookie sensation Dereck Rodriguez to the minors in response to his discouraging start to the season. Likewise, Holland has thus far failed to follow up last year’s quality performance – one that convinced the Giants to re-sign him to a one-year, $7MM guarantee in the offseason.
A year ago at this time, Holland was in the early stages of a renaissance season after the former Ranger and White Sox accepted the Giants’ minor league offer. Holland ended up notching a 3.57 ERA/3.87 FIP with 8.88 K/9 and 3.52 BB/9 over 171 1/3 innings, making him one of the majors’ top bargain pickups of 2018. Now, though, the 32-year-old’s sitting on a 6.75 ERA/6.35 FIP with a bloated walk rate (5.19) and a sky-high 27 percent home run-to-fly ball rate in 34 2/3 frames. While Holland’s strikeout rate has surged to 10.9 per nine, it hasn’t come close to offsetting his flaws.
Furthermore, it seems bad blood has developed between Holland and the Giants’ front office, as the hurler accused the club of putting him on the IL with a “fake injury” last month (via Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle). Holland added he’s “not happy about” that IL placement, which occurred April 29 on account of a bruised left index finger and ended quickly when he returned May 9.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi responded to Holland’s comments, per Schulman, saying in part: “He had a finger issue that he had back in spring training. It flared up. We got an MRI. He felt he could continue pitching. We felt it would be prudent to give him the time off. The decision was collaboratively made. We have extensive medical records of it.”
Zaidi also noted that “players and the staff and front office people sometimes have differences of opinion when they should or shouldn’t play.” It seems Holland’s not the only Giant who has differences with Zaidi & Co., though, with Pavlovic tweeting there’s unhappiness within the clubhouse regarding the team’s recent IL placements and roster moves.
Now, with Holland losing his spot in favor of Beede, the Giants’ staff still has two vacancies after Drew Pomeranz went on the IL on May 9 with a left lat strain. Aside from Holland, Beede, Rodriguez, Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija, the only experienced, healthy starting options on the Giants’ 40-man roster are Triple-A arms Andrew Suarez and Ty Blach. Those two don’t inspire much confidence, however, which could lead the Giants to make another 40-man promotion (Shaun Anderson’s a possibility, according to Schulman) or deploy an opener.