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Derek Holland bounced to bullpen after returning from ‘fake injury’

Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced after Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Reds that No. 2 starter Derek Holland (1-4, 6.75 ERA) will move to the bullpen.

For his part, Holland said he is glad to help his team any way possible. But he also expressed frustration with the people pulling the strings behind the scenes, particularly with relation to a roster move earlier this week.

The move to the bullpen comes days after Holland — whose one-year contract includes escalators for games started — came off the 10-day injured list for what the lefty said was a “fake injury.”

Holland was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday retroactive to April 28 for what was described as a left index finger bruise. In the exchange, the Giants brought Ty Blach to fill Holland’s roster spot.

Holland was philosophical about the change, though he expressed frustration with moves made by the front office:

“To be honest, I have no idea what they’re doing. And I don’t mean that by Boch and them—it’s more from the front office. We keep changing a lot of things. I did a fake injury. 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 has struggled in seven starts this season. In 34-2/3 innings he has a 6.75 ERA and he’s allowed 10 homers, 20 walks with a 1.529 WHIP.

But the lefty pitched 9-2/3 innings in relief over six appearances last season, posting a 1.86 ERA with 16 strikeouts and a 1.034 WHIP. His success in that role could be why Bochy said he it will be a good move for where the team is at right now:

“He did it last year, so he’s gonna help us a little bit there in the pen [now], he’s gonna be the long guy but also a guy that could face left-handers.”

Holland said he was informed in advance of Saturday’s game that the change would be made, and said he plans to fill whatever role the team needs but he also has a goal of re-joining the rotation. He said:

“The decision’s made, that’s all there is to it. I mean I can’t do anything about it—I just gotta pitch better.”

The $6.5 million one-year deal Holland signed with the Giants in January includes escalators for games started. He gets a $500,000 bonus if he starts 24 games and an additional $500,000 if he starts 28.

Dutch said though that what’s most important to him is supporting his teammates:

“I’m going to be here for my teammates—that’s what it’s all about. These guys mean a lot to me, and, you know they’ve helped me out with fixing myself last year, so I gotta do what’s best.”

Asked if he found it unnerving to not have a clear understanding of the reasons behind moves made by the front office, Holland said:

“You’re never going to understand for the most part, it’s more of just—when that time comes, you get the ball and go. I’ll just always be out there for [my teammates].”

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