Hollands making pitch for Phillies roster spot

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Lefthander Mario Hollands has been among the surprises in spring training and the 25-year-old non-roster invitee may not be a favorite but is still in consideration to earn spot on the opening day 25-man roster.

Hollands had a 1.86 ERA in his first six spring outings, covering 9 2/3 innings. The season opens on Monday in Texas and Hollands insists he remains focused only on improving each outing and not whether he will be on the Phillies roster.

“I really don’t think about it much,” he said on Monday morning before the Phillies took the field for a workout. “It would only make me stress out or lose concentration if I did.”

Holland was a combined 7-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 27 appearances, including 20 starts for Clearwater and Reading last year.

He then pitched winter ball in Venezuela, where he had a 2.45 ERA.

“I had some momentum from last season and then it continued to grow from pitching in Venezuela,” Hollands said.

He was in Venezuela from the beginning of November until returning home to the San Francisco area on Jan. 20.

It’s been a lot of pitching, but Hollands insists he’s not fatigued.

“I think my arm is in better shape than it has been in the past, at least during spring training,” Hollands said. “My body is a little tired, but that is natural from playing so much.”

Then again, he says, there is no time to think of fatigue while in the big league camp.

“When you are at this level and with the team this long,” he said. “I don’t feel as tired as I would be if I was on the minor league side.”

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