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Holland added to Opening Day roster

Veteran lefty takes injured Samardzija's spot in rotation
Special to MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Derek Holland was added to the Giants' 40-man roster and will pitch in place of injured starter Jeff Samardzija in the team's rotation after being a non-roster invitee this spring.

Manager Bruce Bochy announced the move prior to Monday's exhibition game against the Athletics at AT&T Park.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Derek Holland was added to the Giants' 40-man roster and will pitch in place of injured starter Jeff Samardzija in the team's rotation after being a non-roster invitee this spring.

Manager Bruce Bochy announced the move prior to Monday's exhibition game against the Athletics at AT&T Park.

View Full Game Coverage

"He pounded the strike zone and showed good stuff," Bochy said. "He's got the veteran presence you like on the mound. He had a great first half last year. He's had some rest and he looks fresh, ready to go. He just pitches with a lot of confidence, too. He's usually pitching ahead in the count and that's always a good thing."

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Holland pitched five innings of four-hit ball in his sixth and final appearance of the spring Monday night against the A's. He allowed two runs, walked one and struck out five while pitching to catcher Buster Posey for the first time since signing with the Giants.

"The big thing was just trying to get adjusted to pitching from Arizona to here with the offspeed pitches," Holland said. "There were a couple things that didn't go our way but that's how it is. It was the right pitch selection for the most part.

"It's huge. To get this opportunity is what I was trying to do. I wanted to show people I'm not done. I'm still able to do things."

Holland was 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA and had 18 strikeouts in 15 innings over his previous five outings in the Cactus League.

The 31-year-old lefty was plagued by injuries to his left knee and left shoulder from 2014-16 before going 7-14 with a 6.20 ERA with the White Sox in 2017. The ERA was the highest of Holland's career, though he pitched 135 innings -- his most since 2013.

The news comes of the heels of the Giants naming Ty Blach as their Opening Day starter. Both moves were necessary after Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle and ace Madison Bumgarner suffered a broken pinkie on his pitching hand.

"I think we're much more equipped to deal with it better at this point than what we were last year because of depth in the rotation," Bochy said. "Our offense should be better this year and will be better. That will make it a little easier to overcome."

Video: SF@SEA: Holland induces a double play in the 1st

To make room for Holland on the 40-man roster, left fielder Jarrett Parker was designated for assignment. Parker was the Giants' starting left fielder on Opening Day in 2017.

"We'd love to have Parker back in our system," Bochy said. "Unfortunately, these [decisions] have to be made. He was out of options and we didn't have a spot for Jarrett on this ballclub. This move had to be made in order for us to get him to Triple-A."

More work needed

The Giants will have been in San Francisco less than a week when they depart for Southern California to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the season opener Thursday. That has made it tough for outfielders Austin Jackson and Andrew McCutchen to get comfortable with the tricky configuration of the walls at AT&T Park.

Video: SF@ARI: McCutchen hits first spring homer for Giants

Bochy said both players, along with Hunter Pence, who is making the move to left field to make room for McCutchen in right, have been trying to get as much additional time as possible while the team is at home.

"That's why McCutchen was off [Sunday] so he could get some extra work," Bochy said. "The same with Hunter. I wish we had a day game here so they could have at least one day game. It's a different configuration and it takes a little bit of time to get to know all the different quirks in the outfield. They're professionals, they'll be fine. Give them a couple days and they'll be all right."

Up next

The Giants wrap up the exhibition season with the finale of the Bay Bridge Series on Tuesday at AT&T Park. Right-hander Chris Stratton will pitch for San Francisco in the game that begins at 6:05 p.m. PT. The game can be seen for free on MLB.TV or heard on Gameday Audio.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Derek Holland