Are Greg Holland's spheroids enough?

BY foxsports • June 16, 2015

Monday night, Greg Holland nearly blew a big lead. Wade Davis, who was supposed to have the night off, wound up preserving the Royals' victory over the (yes, woeful) Brewers.

Now, it's hardly crazy to think that Davis is actually better than Holland, the Royals' closer. He certainly was better last season. Still, you could make a pretty excellent case that Holland entered this season as the American League's best closer (with Davis designated as eighth-inning guy).

This season, though? Uh, not so much. Granted, before Monday night, Holland's ERA was real pretty. But his pre-Tuesday 1.76 mark belied how well Holland had actually pitched, which wasn't all that well.

Anything to worry about? Here's Exhibit A in Holland's defense:

Or maybe that's Exhibit B, since the guy with the biggest cojones in the world is either a) suffering from some horrible illness, or b) even if healthy, wouldn't have much chance against American League hitters.

Exhibit A, I think, is that it's still early and Holland's tossed only 15 innings all season.

But if he's really lost his best fastball? Well, he might be in trouble. 

Holland averaged almost exactly 96 miles an hour in each of his last three seasons. This season he's a touch below 94. That's still pretty hard, obviously. But is it completely coincidental that his strikeout rate's way down, his walk rate way up? Holland's actually been incredibly fortunate in one respect: he's given up a .205 batting average on balls in play, around 90 points lower than his career average.

Something's gotta give. If Holland doesn't make an adjustment and/or throw harder, the Royals are going to have a new closer. It's not like they don't have plenty of candidates.


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