Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore seems determined to keep the band together. According to the Kansas City Star, Moore still wants to retain closer Greg Holland even though he will miss the 2016 season after Tommy John surgery last September.
Though the Star, who presumably has a source within the KC Royals organization, asserts that Holland will not pitch in 2016, the typical rehab schedule for Tommy John surgery allows players to pitch within one year. Since Holland had surgery in September, he could conceivably be able to pitch in the playoffs.
Certainly, the idea of adding Holland to the bullpen for a potential playoff run holds significant appeal. But the question is would he be the Greg Holland that dominated American League hitters from 2012-14, or the guy that wobbled to a 3.87 ERA in 2015?
If Holland would only be his 2015 self early in his recovery, there really wouldn’t be much benefit adding him to the roster unless the Kansas City Royals bullpen suffered either: 1) a serious rash of injuries, or 2) a major crash from multiple top-shelf relievers in 2016.
In the end, I agree that the KC Royals front office would be wise to give the 30-year-old Holland more than a year of recovery time before asking him to pitch in a live game. Data shows that most Tommy John survivors don’t reach their full post-surgical potential until 18 months to two years after the original procedure.
More from KC Royals News
- KC Royals: Club appears ready to hire pitching assistant
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: Infielder Nicky Lopez
- New pitching coach looks like a good fit for KC Royals
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: Second baseman Michael Massey
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: Look to Texas for help?
Right now, there doesn’t appear to be much of a need to get Holland’s name on a contract given that he’s unlikely to help anyone until September. However, the Kansas City Royals might be forced to bid on Holland around the trading deadline if a bullpen-needy contender likes the idea of adding an experienced closer for October.
The Chicago Cubs or Washington Nationals are teams that might find such a move attractive.
I must confess, like most KC Royals fans, I would love to see the “HDH” trio saving games in 2017. Aside from nostalgia, the Kansas City Royals have shown that a strong bullpen can make up for a lot of sins, and some thrilling playoff baseball.
If Greg Holland can recapture most of his form, the KC Royals will be right in the running with the New Yankee Yankee trio of Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller. Heck, since the Kansas City Royals would have a fourth closer-level reliever with Holland, they would surpass the Yankees with depth.