Cards add closer Greg Holland, set to make St. Louis debut
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Greg Holland is all set to make his debut as the new closer for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals recalled Holland from the minors in time for Monday night’s game against Milwaukee, and the All-Star righty said he was ready to pitch.
“Yep, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t,” Holland said. “I’m healthy. I feel good. At this point it’s kind of like opening day for me. I’m just trying to stay even keeled, but once I get out there for the first time and get in a game it’s going to be pretty normal.
“I’m excited. Hopefully I’m not here for five or six days before I get into a game,” he said.
The 32-year-old Holland tied for the NL lead with 41 saves for Colorado last season, then signed as a free agent with St. Louis on opening day. He pitched two games for Class A Palm Beach, with a scoreless relief appearance and a start in which he allowed one run on two hits in one inning.
To make room for Holland, St. Louis optioned right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers to Triple-A Memphis.
Holland spent his first six seasons in the majors with Kansas City. He missed the 2016 season because of Tommy John surgery, then returned with the Rockies last year and was an All-Star for the third time and tied the Colorado record for saves in a season.
Holland waited all winter for the right deal. He eventually signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Cardinals.
“It’s been more a lot more of a process than I was anticipating, but I’m looking forward to playing,” Holland said. “We’ve got a good group, a good team. At the end of the day that’s all you can really ask for as a player is to be on this caliber of a team and an organization that’s going to do everything they can to get to the World Series. Hopefully I can facilitate that.”
Holland has a career record of 21-18 with a 2.60 ERA in 370 career appearances covering 377 innings with 500 strikeouts. He has converted 186 saves in 206 opportunities and ranks fourth among major league relievers in save percentage (90.3 percent) since 2010.
Mayers appeared in two games this season, allowing one run in two innings.