It’s going to be a busy showcase when Greg Holland takes the mound, trying to generate interest in his comeback attempt. The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins and his former team the Kansas City Royals will be in attendance to check him out.
Holland, 30, is recovering from Tommy John surgery which made him miss all of 2016. Holland’s situation might be similar to that of Tim Lincecum, who landed a deal with the Los Angeles Angels (it didn’t turn out so well for both sides) after everyone thought he was finished due to injures. Holland hasn’t fallen to the depths that Lincecum has in terms of performance, but he already showed signs of slipping in 2015, so maybe there’s not that much to salvage.
Either way, teams are interested. The Royals included, who had Holland on the team from 2010 through 2015. Holland was their full time closer from 2013 onward, and was an All-Star in 2013 and 2014. During those two seasons, Holland appeared in both the Cy Young and MVP voting in the American League. He was probably the best reliever in the land for a short while, posting a 1.32 ERA through 129.1 innings, striking out 13.4 batters per nine innings, and having a 0.889 WHIP.
But his 2015 season signaled that he needs to get something fixed. He didn’t make it to the playoffs, playing in just 44.2 innings compared to 60 or more in each of the previous four seasons. Holland posted a 3.83 ERA that season while striking out only 1.88 batters per walk, and his WHIP rose to 1.455. Now, he’s seeing that there’s still plenty of interest in him thanks to his age and the improvement in recovery rate from the Tommy John surgery. Whether or not Holland has what it takes to become a member of a major league bullpen again? We’ll find out very soon.