Just a few days after KC Royals manager Ned Yost announced that Wade Davis would be the team’s closer and that Greg Holland‘s role had yet to be determined, the Royals announced that Holland will not pitch the rest of the season.
Apparently, Holland has been pitching with a UCL tear in his pitching elbow since at least last August. Holland continued pitching into the postseason and World Series in 2014 and struggled through the 2015 season.
Holland, who had refused an MRI on his elbow until recently, will be getting a second opinion next week and could ultimately have Tommy John surgery. That would probably end his Royals career.
And what a career Holland has made.
After a lackluster first big league season in 2010 (6.75 ERA in 15 games), his ERA was never over 3.00 until this season. Holland has acculumated 145 saves in the Majors since 2011 and struck out 430 batters in 319.2 big league innings. Opponents have hit just .203 against him.
He has the second most saves in the Majors since 2013 and his 1.97 ERA in that timespan ranks him ninth in the Majors. That ERA has been hurt by his 3.83 ERA in 2015.
Not bad for a guy who had to walk on at Western Carolina and was drafted in the 10th round back in 2007.
Despite the aching elbow, Holland has heart. Should he have gotten his elbow examined before now? Probably, but how can you criticize a guy who has gone out to the bullpen every day and answered the bell. He has 32 saves THIS season! His save total is tied for 13th in the big leagues.
Whatever happens, I know I will miss seeing him toe the rubber in the 9th inning for the rest of this season and the playoffs. Hopefully, this will not be the last time Holland will be pitching in a Royals uniform.