A bout of triceps tightness, a minor ailment onset by five appearances in seven days, may keep Royals closer Greg Holland from pitching this weekend.
Holland sat out on Friday night against the Yankees as Wade Davis replaced him for the ninth inning. A day later, Holland explained his condition was improving, but both he and manager Ned Yost preached the necessity of caution. A two-time All Star, Holland is the backbone of the team’s late-game trio that includes Davis and Kelvin Herrera.
“Any time you get that stiffness or tightness in your bicep or tricep, it’s like a warning,” Yost said. “‘Hey. Slow down a little bit.’ We’ve been using him a lot. These games dictate that we use him a lot. It’s just hopefully a day or two or three of recovery, and then he’ll be ready to go.”
Yost indicated the team would check on Holland’s condition after he played catch before Saturday’s game. Holland himself said he did not expect to pitch on Saturday, but hoped he could return by Sunday.
The tightness first cropped up after Holland completed a three-batter save against Texas on Wednesday. After he threw, his arm remained sore.
“It’s just general stuff that you deal with when you throw a lot of days in a row,” Holland said. “It rarely works out where you’re going to have to throw five or six times in a six- or seven-day span. That kind of builds up soreness.”
To pitching coach Dave Eiland, the presence of Davis and Herrera allows the Royals the luxury of resting Holland. He is critical to the club’s composition, but the team can survive a few days without him, Eiland said.
“You’ve got to be smart about it,” Eiland said. “Over the course of a six-month season, guys are going to get cranky arms from time to time. And you’ve got to be smart about it. Fortunately, we have other options. If we didn’t, it might be ‘Hey, let’s go.’ Or he would say ‘I’m still going to go.’ Which he has in the past.”