Derek Holland
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Giants move Derek Holland to the bullpen

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In what seemed like a pretty routine move for a struggling starter, the Giants shifted left-hander Derek Holland from the rotation to the bullpen on Saturday night. His next scheduled start, a home game against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, will be handled by right-hander Tyler Beede.

Holland didn’t take the news in stride; on the contrary, he had some pointed remarks to make about the move and those who might have called for it. Per MLB.com’s Maria Guardado:

“To be honest, I have no idea what they’re doing,” he told reporters Saturday. “And I don’t mean that by [Bruce Bochy] and them, it’s more for the front office. We keep changing things. I get a fake injury, so I’m not happy about that. But at the end of the day, I’m going to do whatever they ask me to do.”

Those implications didn’t sit well with members of the front office, including president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi:

“He had a finger issue that he had back in spring training. It flared up. We got an MRI. He felt he could continue pitching. We felt it would be prudent to give him the time off. The decision was collaboratively made. We have extensive medical records of it. His use of the word ‘fake’ probably comes from him feeling he could continue to pitch with it. Players and the staff and front office people sometimes have differences of opinion when they should or shouldn’t play.”

Whether or not Holland was fit to pitch through what, at the time, was termed a ‘bone bruise’ may be beside the point (though, as NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic commented on Saturday, the pitcher’s dissatisfaction has been shared by several of his teammates for a while now). So far this season, his numbers have significantly regressed from the 3.57 ERA and 2.2 fWAR he contributed to the club in 2018. Entering Sunday’s finale against the Reds — for which he’ll be available to pitch out of the bullpen — the lefty holds a 1-4 record through seven starts with a 6.75 ERA, 5.2 BB/9, and 10.9 SO/9 across 34 2/3 innings. During his most recent outing, a 12-11 loss to the Rockies on Thursday, he issued a season-worst seven runs, four walks, and two strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings.

His performance is far from the only problem plaguing the Giants’ rotation. Earlier on Saturday, they optioned Dereck Rodríguez to Triple-A Sacramento, a move that wasn’t wholly unexpected after the right-hander worked up to a 5.05 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 6.1 SO/9 in his first eight appearances of 2019. With both Holland and Rodríguez ineffective and unavailable for the time being, the team might turn to some combination of Triple-A starters Ty Blach, Andrew Suarez, and Shaun Anderson to fill the gaps in the rotation next week, though any formal announcements (and subsequent roster moves) have yet to be made.

Twins tie team record with 8 homers in 16-7 win over Angels

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Miguel Sano and Jonathan Schoop each hit two of Minnesota’s franchise record-tying eight home runs and the Twins hammered Matt Harvey and the Los Angeles Angels 16-7 Thursday.

C.J. Cron homered, doubled twice and singled twice for the Twins. Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario also homered for Minnesota.

It was the third time in franchise history – dating to their days as the Washington Senators – and second time this season Minnesota homered eight times. Before doing it April 20 against Baltimore, the last time it happened was in 1963 against Washington.

Schoop drove in four runs and Sano three as the Twins won six of seven on their road trip that began in Seattle and wound up with their first sweep in Anaheim since 1996. Minnesota, with the best record in the majors, hit 22 homers against the Mariners and the Angels while outscoring them 67-24.

There were a total of 11 home runs in this game, which was originally set for Wednesday but postponed due to unplayable field conditions following a pregame storm.

Angels first baseman Jared Walsh, who made five relief appearances in Triple-A this season, pitched for the first time in the majors. He gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth.

The eight home runs also tied the Angels mark for most allowed. It previously happened in 2005 against Texas and 1996 vs. Oakland.

Four of the seven hits Matt Harvey (2-4) allowed in 2 2/3 innings went over the wall as the right-hander gave up eight runs for the second time this season.

Tommy La Stella hit his first grand slam in the ninth for the Angels, who have dropped four straight. David Fletcher and Brian Goodwin also homered for Los Angeles.

Minnesota broke open the game in the second inning with six runs, which included a three-run shot by Schoop and two-run drive by Polanco. Harvey was chased in the third after solo homers by Cron and Sano.

The Twins hit three home runs in the seventh to extend their lead to 14-2. Sano’s two-run shot and Schoop’s solo homer marked the sixth time the Twins had gone back-to-back this season. Kepler added a two-run drive.

Twins starter Martin Perez (7-1) went five innings and yielded two runs on five hits.

TOUGH DAY

Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun came up twice with the bases loaded but was unable to get a hit. He struck out in the third and grounded into a force out to end the fifth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: DH Nelson Cruz (left wrist sprain) returned to Minneapolis. He is eligible to come off the injured list on Friday but manager Rocco Baldelli said they are still seeing how he is doing swinging during batting practice.

Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons (left ankle sprain) saw a foot and ankle specialist Wednesday and expects to remain in a walking boot for at least two weeks. . LHP Andrew Heaney (elbow) had a bullpen session before Thursday’s game and could make his season debut Sunday.

UP NEXT

Twins: Return home and open a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. RHP Jose Berrios (6-2, 3.39 ERA) has seven or more strikeouts in his last four starts.

Angels: Conclude their home stand with three games against Texas. RHP Griffin Canning (2-3, 3.80 ERA), who became the second LA starter to go seven innings last Saturday against Kansas City, gets the call on Friday.

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