There have been certain criticisms of Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost over the years, one of which has been his reluctance to move away from certain players. After all, how many chances did players like Chris Getz, Yuniesky Betancourt or even Omar Infante receive before they were replaced in the lineup? Yet, that trust in his players has worked out recently for Yost and the Kansas City Royals, as they know a prolonged slump will not affect their status. There is something to be said for having that comfort level.
This year, however, the Royals are in relatively uncharted territory. Not only are they about to lock up their first ever American League Central title, but they are a favorite to come out of the American League and make the World Series. While Yost and the Royals may be interested in staying the course with those players they trust, sometimes, things need to change.
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That statement has certainly been applicable this season with the closer role. Greg Holland, despite his track record of success for the Kansas City Royals, has not been the dominant force that he had been in the past. Meanwhile, Wade Davis has continued to be a strike throwing cyborg from a distant future where hurled spheroids are the weapon of choice. Considering how Davis has performed in the closer role when Holland was sidelined, it was seemingly a matter of time before a change happened.
This move has not only to do with Holland’s performance, but with his current health. Yost also mentioned that Holland has been dealing with elbow soreness that has not dissipated since the All-Star Break, and that it will not subside this year. Holland’s role going forward has also been left open, and is not yet defined.
Greg Holland just had not been the same pitcher for the Kansas City Royals this season, and did not appear to be himself. Now, we may have an idea as to why. With that elbow issue and ineffectiveness, moving Wade Davis into the closer role was the right move to make. Hopefully, this will work out, and lead to success in October.