It is March 26, less than a week before Opening Day 2018.
Free agent closer Greg Holland remains unsigned.
Holland enjoyed a mostly successful 2017 campaign with the Colorado Rockies, his first season since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He converted 41 out of 45 save opportunities, which left him tied with Los Angeles Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen for the National League lead. He finished with a 3.61 ERA in 57.1 IP, which skyrocketed after an atrocious 13.50 August ERA. He also struck out 70 hitters while allowing 27 walks.
Holland’s 41 saves were a huge factor in the Rockies’ first postseason berth since 2009, and, with the exception of his three blown saves in August, he was solid all season long.
So why hasn’t he found a new home yet?
When teams look at Greg Holland’s 2017 season, there are good and bad aspects alike.
The Good: His 41 saves, sub-4.00 ERA, and 70 strikeouts.
The Bad: Overall, the second half of his season.
Holland was dominant during the first half of the season, and earned a spot on the NL All-Star team. He was an entirely different pitcher after the Mid-Summer Classic, though, and that’s what’s most likely scaring front offices away.
In 33.1 innings before the All-Star Break, he gave up six earned runs on 18 hits, good for a 1.62 ERA, and struck out 43 hitters. After the All-Star Break, he gave up 17 earned runs on 22 hits in nine less innings. His ERA was 6.38.
My worry when it comes to Greg Holland is that his arm could be shot. The Rockies had to rely on him a lot during the first half of his first season back from Tommy John surgery, giving him 29 save opportunities, and I think the workload caught up with him after the All-Star Break. He lost velocity on his fastball, which in turn made his fastball and slider more alike, and made him easier to hit. Unfortunately for Holland, I think teams would be wise to stay away from him.