Derek Holland: Great vs. AL Central studs!

Here’s a breakdown at White Sox offseason acquisition Derek Holland,  who makes his 2017 debut today … @SoxNerd style!

*Central issue: The left-handed starter, who spent 2009 to 2016 with the Texas Rangers, has dominated 60 percent of the American League Central and he has been particularly effective against the grouping’s stalwarts.

Facing the Tigers, Royals and Indians — winners of the last six Central titles — Holland is 8-2 with a 3.14 ERA (21 appearances/19 starts).

The Indians were probably extremely bummed to see Holland join the division.

The 30-year-old is 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA in nine starts against the Tribe. Holland certainly didn’t make the Indians’ road to the 2016 World Series any easier. He was 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts against Terry Francona’s crew last season.

*Cleveland rocks! Don’t call Cleveland the “mistake by the lake” to Holland.

He must like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the West Side Market and all the other things Cleveland has to offer. Holland is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four starts at Progressive Field.

Holland gave a good indicator that he would be great in this park when he debuted there with a five-hit shutout on June 4, 2011.

*Uh oh: Are you worried that Holland is 2-6 with a 5.56 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) against the Twins and White Sox?

*Catching on: Holland has thrown to A.J. Pierzynski more than other catcher.

Holland has amassed a 3.44 ERA in 27 games covering 172.2 innings (169 hits/155 strikeouts) while tossing to Pierzynski, who is still without a team.

Fourth on the list of Holland’s frequent targets is Geovany Soto, who is a non-roster invitee to the Sox camp this spring.

Holland has compiled a 3.35 ERA in 83.1 innings (27 games) with Soto behind the plate.That ERA is the lowest among any of the eight backstops who have caught at least 52.2 of Holland’s innings.

*Numbers game: Holland is the first regular member of the Sox starting rotation to wear No. 45 since Chris Knapp donned 45 from 1977 to 1979. Erik Johnson wore 45 when he began 2014 as a member of the rotation but he did not last.

Other notable White Sox 45s include Bobby Jenks, Carlos Lee, Danny Tartabull, Dave Righetti, Scott Ruffcorn, Wayne Edwards, Kevin Hickey, Stan Bahnsen, Cam Carreon and Sherm Lollar.

The last player to wear that number for the Sox was pitcher Anthony Ranaudo last season.

The most famous person to wear 45 for the Sox was Michael Jordan.

His “Airness” modeled No. 45 during his appearance for the Sox in an exhibition game vs. the Cubs at Wrigley Field in April of 1994.

*Examining October: Holland is 3-1 with a 5.02 ERA in 14 postseason appearances (five starts).

His best start came in Game 4 of the 2011 World Series when he took a shutout into the ninth inning in Texas’ 4-0 win over St. Louis in Arlington.

Holland gave up two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 8.1 innings before giving up a walk to Rafael Furcal. He was then lifted in favor Neftali Feliz, who got the final two outs as the Rangers evened series, which the Cardinals won in seven, 2-2.

*Doesn’t ‘Rate’ well: Holland is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in three games (two starts) at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Holland’s first appearance at the “Rate” was a good one.

In his fifth big league outing, Holland got Jim Thome, the only man he faced, to bounce into a force out with the bases loaded for the first out in the eighth inning. One batter later, Paul Konerko hit a sac fly off Darren O’Day to give the Sox lead for good in a 3-2 victory.

Holland absorbed losses in his next two Rate starts.

He gave up five earned runs on eight hits (including a homer to Brent Lillibridge) in 3.1 innings in dropping to 11-5 in the Sox 10-0 win on Aug. 21, 2011.

On April 24, 2016, Holland gave up three runs on five hits (with one being a Dioner Navarro homer) in 6.1 innings in the Sox 4-1 win.

*June swoon: Give him June off!

Holland is 5-8 with a 4.97 ERA in 20 June appearances (19 starts) and 57-42 with a 4.27 ERA in all other months.

*Home confusion: Holland’s home record is better than his road record but his road ERA is better than his home ERA.

Holland is 35-23 with a 4.61 ERA in 92 games (82 starts) in home games and 27-27 with a 4.09 ERA in 87 road outings (76 starts).

*Shutout partner: Holland tied for the American League with four shutouts in 2011. He shared the lead with … Tampa Bay’s James Shields!

*Bits: Holland was probably overjoyed Derek Jeter retired. The future Hall of Famer hit Holland at a .545 (12-for-22) clip. … Holland has surrendered the most homers to Mark Trumbo (5) with Albert Pujols, Evan Longoria and Yoenis Cespedes at four. … 22 of Holland’s 62 career wins (35 percent) have come vs. Seattle (12) and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (10). … Holland is not a great fielder as his .897 career fielding percentage demonstrates. … Last season was the first in his eight-year career that Holland did not record a pickoff. He logged at least two in each of his first seven seasons.


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