Royals closer Greg Holland felt a little off on Friday, although you’d never know by the result.
A day after recording his fourth save, tied for the most in the American League, to finish the Royals’ 6-4 victory over the A’s, Holland was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a right pectoral strain.
Right-hander Yohan Pino was recalled from Class AAA Omaha.
“I tried to pitch through it,” Holland said. “I just didn’t feel good and it didn’t get any better when I was done throwing.
“It feels better today, just a little sore. I’m optimistic.”
Holland had an MRI on Saturday.
The discomfort was first noticed after an appearance in Anaheim last weekend. The Royals were not in a save situation last week during the trip to Minnesota.
The DL stint is the first for Holland since 2012, when he had a rib injury.
Over the two years, he has become one of baseball’s premier pitchers with a total of 93 saves, including a major-league postseason record-tying seven in last year’s playoffs. He won the inaugural Mariano Rivera Award as the AL’s top closer last year.
The Royals should be able to absorb the loss. Their bullpen is stocked with strong arms and manager Ned Yost said that Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera, who usually pitch the eighth and seventh innings, will move ahead. Davis will assume closer duty with Herrera getting the eighth-inning call.
Yost wanted to give Holland one more appearance to see if the pain had subsided.
“It started to feel a little better and he wanted to give it a try last night,” Yost said. “We were still trying to maybe give him an extra day, but in the back of my mind knowing that if we needed to use him, he said he felt like he could do it.
“Then afterwards you could tell he was cutting off pitches. It was still bothering him, so we just thought the best course of action was go ahead and shut him down right now for a week and see if we can’t get this inflammation out of there.”
Holland said he won’t throw for three or four days.
“And see how my body responds from there,” he said. “I don’t want to give it a deadline, especially this early in the season. At this point of the season, the smart this is for me to go on the DL.”
Pino signed with Royals in December after pitching last season in the Twins’ organization. In his one appearance at Omaha, he tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing one hit and six strikeouts in a 4-0 victory at New Orleans.
Yost said Pino would be used in long relief.
▪ In another roster move, the Royals called up infielder Orlando Calixte from Omaha and optioned outfielder Reymond Fuentes to the Storm Chasers.
Calixte fills the need of backup infielder as Alcides Escobar recovers from a knee injury suffered in Friday night’s victory over the A’s.