Derek Holland made waves last weekend, with comments critical of the front office after finding out he’d been demoted to the bullpen.
“To be honest,” Holland said, “I have no idea what they’re doing. And I don’t mean that by Boch and them. It’s more 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.”
Holland on moving to the bullpen:
"To be honest, I have no idea what they’re doing… It’s more from the front office. We keep changing a lot of things, I did 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." pic.twitter.com/3d7L3IUZIo
— KNBR (@KNBR) May 12, 2019
Holland has since apologized to VP of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi, who himself acknowledged that he needs to be doing a better job at keeping the clubhouse together during this time of rebuilding. Still, Holland’s comments beg the question: How much did what he said reflect the feeling among other players in the clubhouse?
According to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, at least a few players share a similar sentiment.
“I’m not sure I’d say the majority, I think it’s a little unfair for me to speculate,” Baggs began. “I do know he spoke for more than himself. There are other people in that clubhouse that have wondered about the direction, that have wondered about the volume of changes, things that just don’t make sense to them.
“These guys value continuity. Baseball values consistency and continuity more than any other sport. Continuity of performance, continuity of knowing what your role is going to be and I think that there’s been a lot of, ‘Okay what does this mean, this doesn’t make sense, somebody needs to explain this to me.’ There’s been a lot of that going on this year, not just for players but for fans too.’
“So I do think there’s a little more, ‘Hey, we don’t understand what the direction is here, or why some of these moves are being made, or why after 22 at-bats we got rid of these guys we basically just said hello to as teammates, who we planned to play the whole year with and now they’re gone in the corner outfield spots in Connor Joe and Michael Reed.'”
The opening day starts for Joe and Reed have served as a microcosm of the 2019 season thus far. The only consistent theme through the first two months is a lack of consistency.
“It kind of started with that, that was a big WTF at the beginning of the year. Then all of the sudden (Yangervis) Solarte and (Gerardo) Parra are gone. You kind of understand it if you understand how front offices work, and you understand it because you understand what the Giants have to accomplish this year. But a lot of this is just confusing because this is a rebuilding year. They’re calling it a transition year but we know it’s a rebuilding year, and they’re trying to get looks at as many people as they can, because they have to know what they have in this organization before they move forward, and I think the players are kind of caught in a situation where they don’t quite understand.
“Obviously this isn’t Buster Posey, this isn’t Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Madison Bumgarner speaking out, it’s Derek Holland who’s not pitching well, but I do think there are some people in the clubhouse who gave him a little fist bump over that.”
Listen to the full interview below: