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Holland, Rangers embrace lefty's Classic chance

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Derek Holland will pitch in the World Baseball Classic, while teammates Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish both declined invitations and will sit the event out.

Holland, who discussed his decision with Rangers management and pitching coach Mike Maddux, said Friday that pitching for Team USA will fulfill a dream of his. Holland was in Texas' clubhouse Friday, but wasn't participating in the pitching minicamps.

All involved said Holland is separated from Harrison and Darvish because he pitched 175 1/3 innings last year. Darvish pitched 191 1/3 and Harrison a team-high 213 1/3 innings.

"For me, I didn't get as many innings," Holland said. "But at the same time, I asked for everybody else's opinion, if it's OK. It is something I want to do, but I didn't want to go against the team on that. I wanted to make sure this was a decision that was going to benefit me, but also be good for the Rangers."

Maddux also feels good about it knowing that Team USA's pitching coach is his brother Greg, who is a special assistant to the general manager for the Rangers. Greg Maddux will be with Holland all the way.

"[Derek] becomes even more of a candidate because we can control the environment with the familiarity with my brother," Maddux said "[Greg] is here now, he's going to be in camp/Spring Training, then he's going to take Derek with him when they go to the WBC. So we'll be able to keep an in-house look at him."