Greg Holland is doing what few pitchers are able to do, and that is thriving in Colorado.
The first-place Colorado Rockies may have finally found a formula that works: Score lots of runs, and hand the ball to a shutdown closer. The first part has always been easy for the Rockies. But this season, the second part is finally coming into focus. Through his first month in Colorado, Greg Holland is succeeding, perhaps beyond anyone’s expectations.
Holland missed all of the 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery after doctors found a significant tear in his arm late in 2015. At the time of the signing, the one-year deal looked more like a reclamation project, than a front-line closer.
Now the first-place Rockies may be the ones having the last laugh. Holland is currently 11-for-11 in save chances. He has a 1.50 ERA, allowing runs to score in just one of his 12 appearances. Holland has looked like his old, dominant self. Come the offseason, the strong showing will likely turn into a big payday as well.
During his All-Star seasons of 2013 and 2014, Holland converted 93 of his 98 save opportunities while with the Kansas City Royals with a 1.32 ERA and 193 strikeouts. Those numbers were definitely worth the $7 million risk taken by the Rockies. Thus far, in his four innings pitched in Coors Field, where the ball flies, Holland has only allowed one hit.
The signing of Holland was a low-risk, high-reward move for Colorado. Through the first month of the season, the reward is certainly paying off. He currently leads the league in saves on a team that is playing solid ball under first-year manager Bud Black. The Rockies have always been a team that can score runs. Now they may finally have a guy at the end of games that can keep those leads.