Found December 15, 2011 on Fox Sports Southwest:
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FORT WORTH, Texas There's been no Texas Rangers player who has been more visible over the last couple days that left-hander Derek Holland. He spent Wednesday at a children's hospital in Dallas and then unveiled the patch the Rangers will be wearing next year at a media luncheon. Thursday he talked up nutrition at Beckham Elementary in Arlington before heading to Fort Worth as he was the honorary spokesman for the Cowboy Santas event that provides toys for children.It's looking more likely that you'll be seeing a lot more of Holland for the next several years too. According to a source, Holland and the Rangers are discussing a five-year contract with a team option for a sixth year that could keep Holland with the Rangers through the 2017 season.All Holland had to say about a possible deal Wednesday was that if one happens, he'd like it to happen before the season starts. He also made it clear he loves being with the Rangers."My role model with this team is Michael Young," said Holland, who is looking for a house in the Metroplex. "What he does on and off the field, him and (Ian) Kinsler together, is exactly what I want to be like. That's what I want to do. I want to continue to be involved with the Rangers and the community."After his breakout season, the Rangers seem certain to be accommodating.Holland went 16-5 in the regular season with a 3.95 ERA in his first full season as a big-league starter. He then garnered national attention in the World Series, as he dominated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4, pitching 8 13 innings of two-hit all and striking out seven.That outing alone did wonders for the confidence of Holland, 25."The big thing is to continue to work on what I was doing at the end of the season and in the playoffs," he said. "Doing what I did in the World Series after the way I pitched in the 2010 Series put my on a higher pedestal for myself confidence wise. That was unbelievable for me."Texas may need more starts like that out of Holland in 2012 as its rotation is in flux. The loss of ace C.J. Wilson leaves a hole at the top of the Texas rotation. If the Rangers don't sign another starter, more may be required of Holland and the rest of the starters.While Holland has the stuff to dominate, he's not ready to anoint himself as the new No. 1 for the Rangers."I don't want to be called the ace," said Holland. "I want to earn it. That's the way I was brought up. That's the way my parents were. That's the way my college coaches were. That's the way I want to be. To me, every pitcher on this staff can be the ace. As long as we continue to go out there and produce, that's all I want to do."Camp invitesRight-hander Fabio Castillo, who wasn't offered a contract Monday, has signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers that includes a spot in spring training. Catcher Chris Robinson was also signed to a minor-league with a spring-training invite. Neither player is on the 40-man roster. Robinson spent the 2011 season playing in Triple A for the Cubs.Honor for OliverFree-agent lefty Darren Oliver has been named the winner of the Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award. Oliver participated in a program to promote environmental conservation. He also volunteers during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and donated time and money to an organization that helps homeless families.Oliver will receive the award Jan. 12 at the Texas Rangers Dr Pepper Awards Show at the Arlington Convention Center.Minor mattersThe Rangers signed left-handers Zach Jackson and Kyle Fernandes, right-handers Derek Hankins, and Doug Salinas and outfielder Orlando Sandoval to minor-league contracts. All five will be in the minor-league camp to open spring training.
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