Opinion

Greg Holland undergoes Tommy John surgery, unlikely to pitch in 2016

Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland had elbow ligament reconstruction surgery on Friday.
Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland had elbow ligament reconstruction surgery on Friday. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

Greg Holland underwent Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Friday in Los Angeles. Neal ElAttrache performed the operation, and Royals trainer Nick Kenney indicated the procedure occurred without complications.

Elbow reconstruction surgery generally requires 12 to 14 months of rehabilitation. The Royals most likely will have to non-tender Holland, who was due a salary of at least $10 million through arbitration. Holland can become a free agent after 2016, so the Royals could seek a multi-year deal to keep him in the organization.

The Royals believe Holland initially sustained a tear in his ligament late last summer. Holland chose to pitch through the discomfort. He posted an 0.82 ERA in the playoffs.

But after a winter of rest, Holland failed to recapture his two-time All-Star form. He still gutted through 32 saves in 2015 before manager Ned Yost removed him from the closer’s role midway through September.

With Holland down, Wade Davis has taken over as the Royals closer. He will likely occupy the same role in 2016 as Holland rehabilitates.

Andy McCullough: 816-234-4730, @McCulloughStar. Download True Blue, The Star’s free Royals app, here.

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