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Derek Holland heads to the pen, says Giants front office had him fake an injury

After it was announced that Holland is moving to the bullpen, the pitcher had some rather shocking words of frustration about how the team is being managed.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After Saturday night’s game, it was announced that starting pitcher Derek Holland would be moving to the bullpen. Holland re-signed with the team this off-season for two years, and broke camp as the second starter in the rotation. On a day where the Giants optioned starting pitcher Dereck Rodriguez, one of the latest in a long line of recent roster moves, Holland expressed frustration with how the team is being managed.

“To be honest, I have no idea what they’re doing. And I don’t mean that by Boch and them, it’s more from the front office. We keep changing things. I did a fake injury, so I’m not happy about that. But at the end of the day, I’m going to do whatever they ask me to do.”

Here are his full remarks:

Holland goes on to elaborate that he’s here for his teammates and will do whatever is asked of him, but his first remarks were pretty shocking. I can’t remember a player ever full-out saying that their injury was fake, even if we all assume many of them are for roster manipulation purposes.

Even more surprising is that this is coming from Holland at all. You’ll remember that Holland was moved to the bullpen last season while the Giants were trying to figure out what was going on with Jeff Samardzija’s injury. He did so without complaint, and with good spirits, and he was pitching better at the time than he is now.

So it feels like something might be bubbling over behind the scenes in the Giants clubhouse. Perhaps it was the fact that it came right on the heels of the Rodríguez news, or perhaps it’s just an overall frustration about how quickly moves are happening and the anxiety of not knowing what to expect day to day.

But that will only be exasperated with this move, because it leaves only two of the original starting pitchers (Madison Bumgarner and Samardzija) as part of the starting rotation, with Drew Pomeranz still on the Injury List. And there’s already talk of Bumgarner potentially being traded sooner rather than later, with his no-trade list coming out today.

Tyler Beede will pitch on Tuesday and after that, well, I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.


The San Francisco Chronicle reported the following quote from President of Baseball Operations, Farhan Zaidi with regards to Holland’s comments:

“He had a finger issue that he had back in spring training,” Zaidi said. “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.

“His use of the word ‘fake’ probably comes from him feeling he could continue to pitch with it. Players and the staff and front office people sometimes have differences of opinion when they should or shouldn’t play.”