Greg Holland is following up his incredible 2013 with yet another stellar season for the Kansas City Royals. Good enough, in fact to make the 2014 All-Star team.
Last year, Holland set a franchise record with 47 saves while compiling an ERA of 1.21 and a WHIP of .866. His numbers are slightly worse this season but not dramatically so. His ERA stands at 1.93 and his WHIP is 1.041. His Strikeouts Per 9 Innings is identical at 13.8.
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Holland has become one of the best closers in the game. Since 20111, Holland is 15-8 with 90 saves. He has a 1.99 ERA and a 1.059 WHIP in 226.2 innings. Since the beginning of last year, he has been even better - 70 saves, 1.44 ERA, and .923 WHIP in 99.2 innings.
No American League reliever has more saves than Holland over the past two seasons. His ERA is third best in the AL.
Holland has been incredibly dependable at the end of games. Since the beginning of last year, he has only lost 3 games, and blown only 4 saves. Converting on 95% of his save opportunities is pretty spectacular.
Some people think closers are expendable and easily replaced. They are not. Closers who are successful 95% of the time do not grow on trees. If the Royals are going to challenge for the post season, Holland will need to continue his success.
Seeing three Royals earn a place on the All-Star for the second straight year is still an immense improvement of the past 20 years or so of getting one pity selection.
In fact, a strong case could have been made for three others, but it is unrealistic for a team to have that many players on an All-Star team unless they are dominating the league, which the Royals are not.
Hopefully, Holland can throw another scoreless innings he did in the 2013 All-Star Game. An maybe he can continue to perform the rest of the season has he has been over the past few years.
If he can break his own Saves record, the Royals will probably be in at least the wild card race.