It’s no secret, but Greg Holland is down right filthy. Just so everyone knows, being called filthy is one of the best compliments a pitcher can receive. We all remember his spectacular season last year, where he had a WHIP under 1 and allowed only 37 hits in 60 innings pitched. He also collected 5 wins and 4 saves and was, arguably, one of the best relievers in all of major league baseball. With a slight road bump earlier this season, he is still carrying that same dominance from last year, over to this season.
You can always tell how dominate a guy is by how many batters he strikes out per 9 innings pitched. Take a look at Aroldis Chapman this year, who has 112 strike outs in only 62 innings pitched. That many strike outs in that amount of innings is just unheard of, and is on pace to be record breaking. That fact alone is why Chapman is the most dominating pitcher in baseball right now, even as a reliever. It’s also to show how Holland, who isn’t on Chapman’s level, is still doing his fair share to keep up. Holland strikes out over 11 guys per 9, while Chapman is at an astonishing 16 k’s per 9.
I’ll definitely take that type of production out of a guy who is trying to slam the door on the opposition. On top of his 98 mph fastball he also has a devastating slider that I’ve seen touch 90 on the stadium gun. I may be slightly biased, but I think Greg Holland is a guy we need anchoring down the 9th for several years to come. For a while now, I’ve been very high on his ability as a pitcher and his ability to be an elite closer. I’ve been advocating that he should close all season and he is doing just that now, and flourishing in his current role.
Since he has taken over the role when Jonathan Broxton was traded, he has converted 7 out of 7 save chances with a 0.73 ERA. Meanwhile, Broxton has a 6.43 ERA in his role with the Reds in 8 games. It’s also been a lot less stressful watching Holland in the 9th this past month instead of seeing Broxton load the bases and somehow manage to get out of it. I believe the Royals bullpen is extremely strong, but I think the right guy is handling the 9th right now.
Holland is a guy the Royals took in the 10th round in 2007 out of Western Carolina. He doesn’t become a free agent until 2017 and is currently earning close to half a million dollars. In my opinion, he is the perfect guy to hand the ball off for the next few years. He is trying to make a name for himself and potentially earn several million dollars in the near future. I hope the Royals continue to use him in the closer role so he can continue his growth in tight situations and progress even further as we head into next season. Plus, he has one of the greatest entrance songs a pitcher can have. Nothing strikes more fear in the opposition than a little Electric Feel.