Rangers lefty Derek Holland, in keeping with the proud history of oddball lefties, is fond of doing impressions, sprouting high-school-senior-who-owns-a-Camaro mustaches, regaling fans and media and, on occasion, disrupting local weather reports.
Anyhow, the Rangers, presumably in the service of better pitching, have asked Holland to tone down his routine just a bit, and, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, Holland intends to follow orders. Here's what he told Wilson:
"It's less of the interviews and those kinds of things," Holland said. "It's taking a different approach to it, just carrying myself a little bit better. I'm still going to be the same guy I was before, just with more of a serious approach, turning things down, keeping more of my focus on the field."
Holland is coming off a season in which he posted a 4.67 ERA in 175 1/3 innings. That following a 2011 in which he won 16 games with four shutouts and pitched 8 1/3 shutout innings in Game 4 of the World Series. For his career, the 26-year-old owns an ERA+ of 96 across 108 games, 90 of which have been starts.
On a more micro level, perhaps what Holland really needs to do is remember how to keep the ball on the ground. Last season, his fly-ball rate increased by 6.5 percentage points over 2011 levels -- never a good idea when your home ballpark is Arlington.
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