By Doug Bruzzone
Special to S.F. Examiner
ORACLE PARK — Both Bruce Bochy and Farhan Zaidi addressed Derek Holland’s comments after the game on Saturday, when he expressed confusion about the team’s direction and said he was disappointed that he went on the Injured List with what he called a “fake injury.”
Bochy insisted that the team followed the proper procedure in diagnosing him, noting that he had an MRI before being placed on the IL, and the results were enough to justify the roster move.
While Holland felt he was healthy enough to pitch, Zaidi pointed out that things aren’t always black and white with injuries in baseball.
“A lot of times, you’re dealing with gray areas with injuries,” Zaidi said. “If a guy gets hit by a truck and can’t walk on the field, that’s an unequivocal injury, but there’s a lot of gray area around that. Guys want to play. I love the fact that Derek wants to be out there and it’s one of the reasons we brought him back [over the offseason] … A lot of times, especially on the pitching front, it becomes a gray area where it’s not necessarily as black or white as we can’t put this guy out on the field, but maybe he thinks he can go out there, but what kind of results are you going to get? What kind of performance are you going to get?”
Zaidi added that he felt bad that when Holland came back for his first start after his IL stint, it was in a snowstorm in Colorado, a game in which he gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Holland’s bigger complaint was with the overall direction of the team, and the many roster moves that the front office has made. Zaidi was surprised by that aspect of Holland’s comments, and noted that a lot of times, 40-man or 25-man roster moves aren’t unanimous, even within the front office.
Bochy was clear that while he had sympathy for the players’ perspective – “They’re a close-knit group and it can be hard for them sometimes when friends go,” he said – the front office was trying to make the team better.
“It’s up to us to do what’s best for the club,” he said. “The front office is doing all they can to make us better. We need to get better. We’re not where we want to be.”
Both Zaidi and Bochy said that they preferred for these types of issues to be resolved internally instead of getting the media involved. Zaidi said that he’d like guys to feel comfortable talking about their concerns in house, and it’s on him if they don’t feel that way.
“I’ve always said my preference is to air things out internally,” Bochy said. “That’s my biggest disappointment.”
The biggest takeaway, though, is that the situation stems from frustration with the team’s performance thus far.
“I just think it’s all based on results and how the team’s doing,” Zaidi said. “If we’re 23-16, I don’t think we’d be sitting in this room right now.”
-Bochy said that Brandon Belt is doing a lot better and is playable today, but is not getting the start because with the off day tomorrow, the team wants to give him two full days off and get him fully healthy.
-The team has not announced a starter for Wednesday’s game, with Zaidi mentioning that there are a couple guys in AAA who could get the call.