Skip to main content

Changes Leading to Bright Future For Hollands

Lefty pitcher Mario Hollands had a roller coaster of a season in 2011 with the Phillies Class A affiliate the Lakewood BlueClaws. Hollands, who had a strong showing in spring training to earn the spot as the 'Claws' opening day starter in April, was removed from the pitching rotation after a rough 7 start stretch in which the 6-foot-5-inch 210-pounder posted a 6.95 ERA.

Once he was moved to the bullpen the 23-year-old improved greatly for Lakewood. Having posted a 4-4 record with a 4.64 ERA in 15 starts, Hollands looked much stronger in relief, going 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 13 outings. In addition, Hollands' batting average against was over 100 points better in relief (.205) than it was as a starter (.306).

Hollands, who was a 10th round pick by the Phillies in the 2010 amateur draft, expressed a preference for working out of the bullpen following the success he had appearing in relief.

"I don't mind doing either one, but since I made the move, I kind of enjoy the bullpen a little bit more," Hollands said. "I get to pitch more often and I like that a little more. It seems a lot easier, just because you can go in there for one or two innings, and just blow it all out, then you can come out there a day or two later and do the same thing. My success out of the bullpen is only encouraging for the years to come."

The native of El Cerrito, California made his professional debut with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in 2010, posting a 4-4 record with a 4.57 ERA in 14 starts. Since then he has dropped a curveball from his repertoire and worked closely with Lakewood pitching coach Steve Schrenk to improve his slider and his cutter. Those pitches compliment Hollands' two-seam fastball, which saw a jump upward in speed from the high 80's he regularly threw early in the season once he made some mechanical adjustments.

"Schrenky and I tinkered with a bunch of little stuff and it's all helped in some way. Everything from (lowering) my arm down a little to where it was last year, little things that people may not be able to see," Hollands said.

"We wanted to change a few things and that took a while to work on, over the middle of the summer, but I'm still happy with how most of the season went."

While there is no confusing the progress Hollands made in his first full season as a pro, there is one thing about him that does require steady clarification. Hollands, who is of Mexican and black descent, regularly runs into players, umpires and team staffers that have a misguided notion about Hollands' first language. He is often mistaken for being fluent in Spanish.

"A good percentage of umpires and a lot of other Latin players expect me to be fluent in Spanish, but disappointingly I am not," Hollands stated. "It takes umpires and other teams' players a little while to figure that out when I don't answer back in Spanish. And even my teammates (in the Phillies organization), when I meet some of the guys for the first time, they don't think I'm American."

One of Hollands' biggest off-season goals is to work on improving his Spanish in order to make things easier on everyone.

Also on the agenda for Hollands over the winter is a workout routine to stay in shape, as he hopes to climb the developmental ranks next season. He'll do so by working out with the baseball team at UC Santa Barbara, where he is spending time this autumn to complete his education. He'll include swimming and basketball in his training regimen, during the period of about two months when he does not pick up a baseball.

As Hollands trains this off-season, he'll do so with the likes of other professional UC Santa Barbara products like Jesse Meaux, Connor Whalen, Mark Haddow and Greg Davis, as well as Major Leaguer Ryan Spilborghs, another former Gaucho. With all that company, the fall and winter months will surely fly by for Hollands who is already focused on getting back on the mound in meaningful games.

"The Phillies want me to get more comfortable as a reliever, but you can only do so much over the off-season without playing actual games."
_______________________________________________

You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE

Comments

Allen said…
Cool. Sounds like a promising lefty. If he climbs another notch with speed as he moves up, he may be valuable to the Phils in the future.

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

2022 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #15 Infielder Kendall Simmons

An All-Star in 2019 with the short-season Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters,  Kendall Simmons  is one of the Phillies' most promising prospects.   Simmons, an outstanding and multi-positional infielder, was the Phillies' 6th round draft pick in 2018. That year, he made his professional debut in the Rookie level Gulf Coast League, posting a .234 average with three homers and 11 RBI in 32 games. The right-handed batter tallied a .234 batting average with 12 homers, 34 RBI and five stolen bases in 51 games with Williamsport in 2019.  In the 2020-2021 off-season, Simmons played in the Australian Baseball League, making up for some of the time missed due to the cancelled 2020 season.  In 21 games with Adelaide, he notched a .172 batting average with a home run, seven RBI and three steals.  Last year, Simmons played primarily with Class A Clearwater.  With the Threshers, he recorded a .226/.321/.460 slash line in 41 games.  Listed at six-feet-two, 180 pounds, strength and athleticism

2022 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #14 OF Yhoswar Garcia

Righty hitting outfielder Yhoswar Garcia is a Phillies prospect on the rise. Reportedly signed in 2020 for a $2.5 million bonus, the six-foot tall 150-pounder has played state side in Florida. Debuting as a pro in Class A Clearwater last summer, Garcia notched a .229/.299/.271 slash line with 11 steals through 18 contests. Repeating the same level to open this season, Garcia has produced improved offensive numbers in the early going. Equipped with plus speed, Garcia is a threat to swipe a bag anytime he reaches base.  Through 14 games with the Threshers this season, the 20-year-old has pilfered 13 bases. Exceptionally skilled in the field, the Venezuelan is said to tout considerable range and a is as solid in centerfield as you can find at his level. Playing every day on a full-season club is just what a talented, athletic youngster with the skillset Garcia possesses will benefit most from.   Please visit  Patreon.com/PhoulBallz  in order to support my work and get access to exclusive