Holland, 27, tore cartilage in the knee on Tuesday in a fall at home that he described as a "freak accident." His recovery will include six weeks of limited movement, and will almost certainly rule him out of the Opening Day roster. The left-hander emerged as a strong No. 2 starter last year after posting a 3.42 ERA in 213 innings and was a key member of Texas' back-to-back American League champion teams in 2010-11.
"I am devastated by this injury. It was a freak accident at home that resulted in a hard fall on my knee," Holland said in a statement. "As upsetting as this is, my goal is to begin rehab and get back on the mound as quickly as possible."
The loss of the Holland throws a wrench into a starting rotation that already had its share of question marks. Texas has a bona fide ace in Yu Darvish, but after that the Rangers have a collection of talented pitchers who each have something to prove. Martin Perez was good last year, but he was also a 22-year-old rookie and hasn't thrown more than 167⅔ innings in a single professional season. Alexi Ogando posted a 3.11 ERA last year, but spent several stints on the disabled list and barely broke 100 innings. Matt Harrison won 18 games in 2012, but made only two starts in 2013 due to multiple back surgeries. Colby Lewis re-signed with the team this winter but hasn't pitched since July 2012 after undergoing major elbow surgery. Nick Tepesch posted a lackluster 4.84 ERA in 93 innings last year. If Holland misses significant time, the Rangers will need to hope that one or more of their injured hurlers can step up and fill his shoes.
The team is not expected to add another impact arm via free agency, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, but that doesn't rule out the signing of a low-profile pitcher to add depth to the rotation. Sullivan also says Texas is unlikely to pursue Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka.