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 . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Wassup with dat? Vito Friscia edition

Friscia, image- Jay Floyd What's up with that Vito Friscia guy?  Well, he's a 24-year-old righty batting catcher that was drafted by the Phillies out of Hofstra University in 2019 with the team's final selection, 1200th overall, in the 40th round. But what's his deal?  Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI.  Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void.  When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.   Is he just a backup catcher?  For now, it seems that's his role.  But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it. "Vito Friscia is a guy that, earl