Keeping in line with my recent fetish fascination for house music, here's a little Tuesday morning St. Germain:
● Jeff Wilson has a really good article about the turnaround of Derek Holland's season, in which he details how Holland hammered out a mechanical flaw -- with the assistance of bullpen coach Andy Hawkins -- that was causing him to throw across his body, and how a second-inning chewing-out from Ron Washington back on July 30th caused Holland to recalibrate his focus.
There's also this from Wilson:
He has become more of a student of the game, seeking tips from his teammates and coaches while delving more deeply into his scouting work.
He has always watched video, but it wasn't until this season that he understood that what might have worked for one left-hander against a certain team won't necessarily work for him.
"You have to take what's relevant from the guy you're watching," Maddux said. "He's more disciplined in his preparation. It comes with knowing what you need to work on and the ability to apply your homework."
I have to wonder if this isn't at least somewhat a function of the transitive property of C.J. Wilson coming into play and positively influencing Holland's game preparation. If not, well, then Holland is growing up by all himself ... but if there is something to that theory, then you can at least take it into consideration when you're evaluating the idea of throwing more than $90 million in C.J.'s direction after this season.
Since his disastrous July 2nd start, Holland has spread 85.1 innings over 13 starts, posted a 2.74 ERA, allowing opposing batters to hit just .240/.294/.334, allowed just five home runs, and delivered a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 74-to-24.
● T.R. Sullivan's latest inbox discusses the Rangers' chances of procuring some Gold Gloves this year (thumbs up for citing UZR), Craig Gentry's chances of earning a shot at being a starting center fielder, Alexi Ogando's mecahnics, and Darren Oliver's chances of returning next year, which are said to be no better than 50/50.
Of particular interest, however, is Sullivan confirming Randy Galloway's previous "guess" that the Rangers offered C.J. Wilson only a three-year deal last off-season.
● Dave Cameron advocates the idea of the Mariners trading a Michael Pineda-led package for the Reds' Joey Votto, which may or may not say something about the perceived chances of Smoak actually developing into an above-average to All-Star-caliber first baseman in Seattle. Not that Mitch Moreland's season -- or the second half of his season, specifically -- has really gone according to planned, mind you.
● Gerry Fraley suggests that Colby Lewis will get the ball in Game 2 of the ALDS because he's an "unflappable veteran," and believes that Mike Napoli will be the Rangers' everyday catcher for the duration of the playoffs. If that proves to be the case, you'll see very little of Yorvit Torrealba on the big stage, and a lot of Mitch Moreland at first base.
● Ron Washington says that Neftali Feliz is pitching with better body language, velocity, and pitch variation. Saturday's Rangers game has been moved to 3:11 p.m. for the benefit of national television. Nolan Ryan isn't very excited about going to see "Moneyball."