With Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed already leading the New York Mets ‘pen, Greg Holland could make things even tougher on opposing hitters.
According to New York Post columnist Joel Sherman, the New York Mets were one of 18 teams who reportedly sent scouts to watch the showcase of former Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland today in Arizona.
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Holland is said to have thrown 35 pitches during the exhibition. The former 2013 and ’14 All-Star threw all fastballs and sliders, with the gun showing about 89-90 mph on his fastball velocity.
After tearing the UCL in his right elbow sometime during the 2015 season, Holland underwent Tommy John Surgery shortly thereafter. This showcase was his first step towards signing with a new team after the Royals elected not to sign him back, sequentially replacing Holland with current closer Wade Davis.
It must be disconcerting for team scouts to see such low velocity from Holland a full year removed from surgery. His mid-90s fastball was a major weapon and calling card for him throughout his three-plus season as the Royals’ closer.
Nonetheless, teams, including New York, will be very interested in a pitcher of Holland’s pedigree.
Over 319.2 career innings, Holland has posted a 2.42 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and just over 12 K/9. He also saved 145 out of 161 games for the Royals, placing him fourth on their all-time franchise saves list.
Since RHP Addison Reed‘s trade to New York in 2015, he has had a 1.84 ERA paired with a 0.96 WHIP and 108 Ks in just 93 innings. Closer Jeurys Familia followed a successful 2015 with a career year in 2016, leading the majors with 51 saves, along with a 2.55 ERA.
So needless to say, minus a recent Familia domestic violence arrest, the back end of the Mets bullpen is already pretty set. But if Holland can continue to build arm strength, and hopefully, in turn, velocity, prior to Spring Training, he could be a valuable and experienced addition to an already solid Mets relief staff.