Kansas City Royals Did Not Mishandle Greg Holland


Greg Holland has a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. This is an injury that is thought to have occurred back in August last season, meaning that Holland has pitched for over a year with an injury that will likely require Tommy John surgery. And Andy McCullough said, that is quite impressive.

Even with that injury, Holland posted an impressive season. While it may have been below his standards, and a year that we lamented prior to this knowledge, Holland did quite well with an elbow that had already exploded. He posted a 3.83 ERA, good enough for a 108 ERA+, and 32 saves, striking out 49 batters in 44.2 innings of work. Yes, Holland walked 26 batters, but considering the state of his elbow, that can be understood.

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Now, it would be easy to blame the Kansas City Royals for Greg Holland’s elbow woes. After all, if they knew his elbow was bothering him in August last year, why did they not shut him down then? Or, if they wanted to wait, why not have him get that elbow taken care of during the offseason? It would certainly appear as though the Royals completely mismanaged Holland’s injury situation, especially considering they continually gave him periods of rest instead of placing him on the disabled list.

However, as McCullough also stated, the Royals attempted to have Holland undergo testing to see what was happening with his elbow. Holland continued to refuse, at least until last month, when he finally gave in due to his rough second half of the season. It is not as though the Royals could force him into an MRI machine without his consent.

Even though this injury will likely sideline Holland for the 2016 season, and could spell the end to his tenure on the Royals, one has to admire the determination Holland had to see this season through. With the Royals in first, and heading to the second postseason berth, Holland pushed aside the pain in his elbow, looking to take care of the unfinished business from last season.

As an aside, one has to wonder what was going through Holland’s mind when Yordano Ventura was writhing about with his cramping issues. Knowing that his elbow was likely held together bypure grit and determination, Holland must have had a few interesting thoughts going through his mind.

While it is certainly admirable that Greg Holland pitched for as long as he did, one has to wonder where the Kansas City Royals would be if he had agreed to get his elbow looked at earlier. Yes, he pitched well, all things considered, and the Royals did clinch their first division title last night, but would they be in a more comfortable position in regards to home field advantage?

Greg Holland gave the Kansas City Royals everything he had. No matter what his season may have looked like, no one can dispute the heart and toughness displayed by the Royals closer. However, it may be fair to question whether or not he should have had that elbow looked at long ago, as the Royals wanted. This mishandling of the injury is not the Royals fault.

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