SAN FRANCISCO — A day after surprising comments that took aim at president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi’s recent moves, left-hander Derek Holland met with Zaidi to clear the air.
The two discussed Holland’s comments, made late Saturday night, before Sunday’s finale against the Reds, and Holland told NBC Sports Bay Area that “everything went really well,” while also expressing remorse for becoming a distraction for the team.
“It was a good conversation. Obviously I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did with the media,” Holland said. “I was just frustrated with not performing the way I was last year. I let my emotions get the best of me. I took shots I didn’t need to, and I’ve got to handle it a little better. I should have come to them first, but my emotions got the better of me.”
It has been a difficult stretch for Holland, who resurrected his career last year and re-signed with the Giants in January. A year after posting a 3.57 ERA, Holland is at 6.75 through seven starts.
The Giants put Holland on the injured list April 29 with a bone bruise on his left index finger and he returned to make just one start before Bruce Bochy announced Saturday that Holland would be moving to the bullpen. A few minutes later, Holland told reporters the initial roster move had been because of a “fake injury.”
Zaidi pushed back, telling the San Francisco Chronicle that Holland got an MRI and the club had extensive documentation of the injury. The front office felt Holland needed to take a few days to heal up. Holland felt he could keep going.
“As a pitcher we have to be selfish, we don’t want to come out of a game, or come out with an injury,” he told NBC Sports Bay Area. “It was a lingering injury, but I was trying to be super-competitive .Obviously nobody wants to be on the (injured list). You want to stay out there and get back to where you were.”
Holland also spoke with Bochy and said he understands his standing with the team and now will fully embrace life as a reliever, something he did successfully at points of last season. The Giants brought Holland back knowing he could end up in the bullpen, and Bochy said Holland will be used as a long reliever as the Giants take a look at young starters.
“I know I’ve gotten to a point of my career where I’m more of a bullpen guy,” the 32-year-old Holland said. “I’ve got to embrace that.”
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Holland said he’s ready to move on and hopeful the team can turn this around. That would solve a lot of issues. Holland is not the only one in the clubhouse who has privately expressed frustration, just the only one to go public.
“If we’re 23-16, I don’t think we’d be sitting in this room right now,” Zaidi told reporters Sunday morning. “I understand it. I’m as frustrated as anybody. But again, I want us to have a culture of accountability where people are looking in the mirror and asking what they can do better.”