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Entering his first full season as a big league closer, Greg Holland won’t be sneaking up on anyone as he did last season when he took over the role as a relatively unknown reliever after Jonathan Broxton was traded.
He’s still probably considered somewhat of a “sleeper” in some fantasy leagues, which is why it’s interesting that I already have him on this “hot seat” list. It’s probably even more interesting that he’s on the list after two terrific seasons (12-5, 2.41 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 11.7 K/9, 20 SV, 27 holds in 2011-12).
In what I call the “Javy Guerra set up to fail” scenario, the Royals have a deserving pitcher in the closer’s role, but one who might be even better currently pitching in the eighth-inning role. That would be Kelvin Herrera.
Guerra started the 2012 season as the Dodgers closer after a strong second half in 2011. Kenley Jansen, who has been one of the more dominant relievers in the game over the past couple years, was his setup man and obviously just a couple blown saves away from claiming the job. No pressure, right?
How many saves will Holland have to blow before the Royals go with Herrera, who throws upper 90s with a plus-changeup? Probably not as many as if Herrera weren’t there.