Opinion

Royals have ‘no defined role’ for former closer Greg Holland

The Royals will revisit the readiness of former closer Greg Holland on Thursday, as the team allows him some time to rest his sore right elbow, but it is unclear how the club will use him upon his return, or even activate him on the playoff roster.
The Royals will revisit the readiness of former closer Greg Holland on Thursday, as the team allows him some time to rest his sore right elbow, but it is unclear how the club will use him upon his return, or even activate him on the playoff roster. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The Royals will revisit the readiness of former closer Greg Holland on Thursday, as the team allows him some time to rest his sore right elbow, but it is unclear how the club will use him upon his return, or even activate him on the playoff roster.

In the words of manager Ned Yost, Holland “has no defined role,” and appears below several other relievers on the totem pole. Asked if Yost would use Holland in high-leverage situations, Yost made that clear.

“If everybody’s available, probably not,” Yost said before Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners. “If nobody’s available, probably yes.”

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost has designated Wade Davis to take over the closing duties for Greg Holland, who is experiencing elbow tightness. Video by John Sleezer/The Kansas City Star

In the playoffs, given the amount of off days, relievers are almost always available for every single game.

Wade Davis will replace Holland as the closer. The two are close friends, but Davis insisted there was no awkwardness between the two. Holland did not appear in the clubhouse while it was open to reporters before Wednesday’s game.

Royals pitcher Wade Davis talks about the transition into the role as the team's closer.

“He’s great,” Davis said. “That guy right there is one of the toughest guys you’ll ever meet. So I think he’ll be fine.”

But will he pitch again in a crucial situation for Kansas City this fall? There is little statistical evidence that Yost should use him. His 3.83 ERA is higher than every other major reliever in the team’s bullpen.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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