KC Royals: Should We Be Worried About Greg Holland?


KC Royals reliever Greg Holland did not pitch despite an available save opportunity in KC’s 3-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

According to FOX Sports reporter Joel Goldberg, Holland woke up with a stiff neck on Tuesday:

While this report sounded hopeful, I don’t think it’s the entire story. Holland struggled in his last appearance on May 14. Holland allowed two walks, which allowed the tying run to come to the plate, before converting his last save.

On May 12, Greg Holland blew his first save of the season in the 9th inning, also against the Rangers, before the Kansas City Royals scored the go-ahead run on Alex Gordon‘s 10th inning home run to win the game.

More from KC Royals News

Fangraphs.com indicated Holland’s velocity has fallen off the last two games. In his first three games back from his pectoral injury, Greg Holland’s fastball averaged 94.4, 94.9, and 94.5. In his last two games, Holland average fastball velocity declined to 92.5 and 91.8.

Could there be something wrong with Greg Holland, or was his low velocity just a case of a “cold” radar gun?

Greg Holland’s struggles in the last two games suggest the decline was real.

What really worries me is that Greg Holland lost about 2 miles per hour when he hasn’t pitched in a week. Of course, pitchers do work out even on off days: so there are many opportunities for a major-league pitcher to injure himself.

There is no reason to push Holland on a day when he’s not feeling up to snuff. The KC Royals bullpen is ridiculously deep, and features four other guys that could close for other teams: Luke Hochevar (6.00 ERA but he’s got nasty stuff), Ryan Madson (1.45 ERA), Kelvin Herrera (1.80 ERA), and Wade Davis (0.00 ERA in 18 innings pitched).

With that many guys to pick up the slack, there is no reason to risk injury to any bullpen arm.

I am encouraged that Holland’s neck issues got better as trainers worked on his injury during the game and I applaud Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost‘s caution in using the eminently qualified Wade Davis to get the save on Tuesday.

I suppose it’s also a good thing that the KC Royals do not yet believe Greg Holland needs to go to the disabled list.

Yet, this is a situation that fantasy owners, and Kansas City Royals fans, need to monitor.

More from Kings of Kauffman