Royals tab Wade Davis to replace Greg Holland as closer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Greg Holland is out and Wade Davis is in as the Kansas City Royals’ closer.
With Holland continuing to nurse a sore elbow, Royals manager Ned Yost said before the game Tuesday against Seattle that Davis would close games for the remainder of the season and the playoffs.
"You know what you’ve got with Wade," Yost said. "With Holly you don’t know from one day to the next how his elbow is going to respond. If it’s going to be tight or sore or stiff.
"You’ve got to pretty much know what you’re going to put out there, especially when you get in the playoffs," he said. "It’s just decisions we have to make, but they are not easy decisions, trust me. But we just have other options."
Holland, an All-Star in 2013 and ’14 when he saved 93 games in 98 chances, has 32 saves in 37 opportunities this year with a 3.83 ERA.
He was charged with a blown save and a loss Friday at Detroit, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks in the 12th inning. Holland’s velocity had dipped from the mid-90s mile per hour to the upper 80s and low 90s.
"Rest isn’t going to help him," Yost said. "He’s been functional through it all year long. It’s getting a little more sore the last month or so and he continues to go out, pitch through it, and he’s been successful for the most part."
Davis has 13 saves in 14 opportunities and a 7-1 record with a 0.88 ERA.
"He knows he can handle the ninth inning," Yost said.
Also, second baseman Omar Infante, who has not played since Friday, has a grade one-plus oblique strain.
"Those things are generally from two weeks to four weeks," Yost said. "So there’s still hope he can heal up and be ready for the back end of the playoffs."
Infante hit .220 with a .234 on-base percentage in 124 games. Ben Zobrist has replaced him at second base and is hitting .308 with a .389 on-base percentage in 47 games with the Royals after being acquired in a July 28 trade with Oakland.