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Holland back in rotation after Samardzija backslides

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San Francisco Giants pitcher Derek Holland (45) is taken out of the game in the seventh inning as the Colorado Rockies face the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

Veteran southpaw Derek Holland will return to the Giants starting rotation, replacing Jeff Samardzija Wednesday in Seattle.

Aside from a July 10 spot start, this will be Holland’s first start since July 1, after which he was moved to the bullpen upon Johnny Cueto‘s return from the disabled list.

Two days after Cueto slid into what would have been Holland’s July 5 start, Chris Stratton relinquished his spot to Samardzija and the rotation finally looked nearer to how the Giants drew it up in March.

In the three weeks since, the Giants rearranged the rotation. Holland (5-8, 4.08 ERA) has made a very strong case for himself to be the guy San Francisco would turn to first in the event of a setback.

Shortly after he was moved to the ‘pen, Holland expressed a desire to help in any capacity asked of him:

“I made the commitment from the very beginning…you’re not gonna hear me complain. Whatever they ask me to do, I’ll be ready for that call.”

And in the three weeks since his role changed he’s done just that, with outings ranging from a 6-1/3 inning spot start, 3-1/3 innings of long relief, and even just 2/3 of an inning in Oakland Sunday. In a total of 13-1/3 innings he has 22 strikeouts with a 2.03 ERA.

So when Samardzija backslid, landing back on the disabled list (right shoulder inflammation) just two starts after returning from his second rehab of the season, Holland got that call.

The Giants plan to give Samardzija some time to rest before putting him back on the mound for some rehab games.

Manager Bruce Bochy said:

“[He’ll rest] for a couple days, we’re not gonna pitch him. We don’t want to push him. We’ve done this twice already so we want to make sure we give him enough time.”


Julie Parker is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @insidethepark3r on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.

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