A sports-talk show in Hartford, Conn., was continuing its annual preview of every major league team Friday, when the Texas Rangers were the station’s team du jour.

Very quickly the show’s hosts zeroed in on the starting rotation and asked their “guest expert” if there was more pressure to pitch well this year on Yu Darvish or Derek Holland.

“Me, for sure,” Holland said Tuesday, before he logged 4 2/3 innings in a game against San Diego minor leaguers.

Credit the left-hander for his honesty and also for his awareness of his importance to the Rangers’ rotation as the No. 3 starter. He knows that he can’t be as inconsistent as he was last year, when he won 12 times but with a 4.67 ERA.

But he’s known that since October, when the Rangers’ season came to a premature conclusion. The work he did during the off-season has left him feeling more ready for the regular season than in any other spring camp.

The 2013 season isn’t a now-or-never proposition, but maybe a better-late-than-never campaign for Holland.

“Obviously, last year was not a great year for me,” said Holland, who missed a month because of shoulder fatigue.

“I went through quite a bit and got myself to bounce back strong. I spent my whole off-season working on everything possibly known that could be worked on. I feel like this is the season for me.”