Texas Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland is expected to miss approximately three months of the 2014 season because of torn cartilage in his left knee. But the injury didn't happen because Holland was playing baseball, hockey, football, or doing some intense training – no, his dog was the cause of the injury, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News, which quoted Holland.
Holland said Saturday that he injured his left knee while engaging in horseplay with his dog Wrigley, a standard-size boxer. Holland underwent surgery Friday to repair torn cartilage and other damage.
“I was running around with the dog and took off up the stairs,” said Holland, the club leader in starts (33) and innings pitched (213) last season. “He chased me and ran up under me and undercut me, and I slammed my head on the steps.
Holland was one of two Rangers starters, along with ace Yu Darvish, to not spend time on the DL at all in 2013. In 213 innings, Holland posted a 3.42 ERA, striking out 189 and walking 64. He signed a five-year contract extension with the Rangers in the spring of 2012 that will keep him in Texas through at least the 201 season. He'll make $5.4 million this year for the Rangers.
As for the Texas rotation? Well, Darvish will still be leading the pack, and with Holland out, he's expected to be followed by Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, Martin Perez, and Colby Lewis – though Harrison did have surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in September, and Lewis had September hip surgery after not throwing a pitch in the majors last year following flexor tendon surgery in 2012.
When you throw in a pair of relievers in Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria that missed huge chunks of 2013 following Tommy John surgery the prior year, saying that there are questions about Texas' pitching staff may be an understatement.