Despite Greg Holland’s recent struggles — he’s allowed 12 earned runs in five innings, en route to three blown saves — manager Bud Black intends to keep him in the closer’s role, as Thomas Harding of MLB.com writes. “We wouldn’t be where we are without him, and he’s going through a bit of a tough stretch as far as making pitches,” said Black. The skipper suggests that Holland has been “one strike away” from escaping trouble and sealing down a victory in each of his three blown saves. Holland was indeed utterly dominant for much of the season, though it’s worth wondering if he’s experiencing at least some degree of fatigue in the late stages of his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. Holland has a $15MM player option that seemed like a veritable lock to be rejected a few weeks ago. And while it still seems likely to me that he’ll opt to reenter the open market, the recent struggles at least slightly open the door for a possible change of course.
A couple more notes on the Rox…
- Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron takes a more analytical look at Holland’s woes and points out that his struggles are hardly isolated to the month of August. Rather, Holland has actually struggled since June 1, beginning with a dip in velocity and a spike in walks. While he’s since regained some of the velo, Holland’s command within the zone has completely eroded, as he’s left 10 percent of the fastballs he’s thrown this month directly down the heart of the plate (in addition to several other poorly placed pitches). More problematic for the Rockies, Cameron concludes, is that several of their other relievers (e.g. Jake McGee, Adam Ottavino) are also struggling, leaving Black with few palatable options other than hoping that Holland can return to form.
- The Rockies did indeed offer Carlos Gonzalez a contract extension this spring, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes in his latest Rockies Mailbag, but CarGo spurned their offer with free agency just six months away. It now looks as if the Rox dodged a significant bullet, as Gonzalez has batted just .240/.308/.360 and, unfathomably, played at an overall clip that is two wins below replacement level (-2.0 fWAR, -1.7 rWAR). Saunders notes that Gonzalez will quite likely be forced to settle for a short-term deal to rebuild his value this winter — a one-year deal seems quite likely — and he goes on to write that he’s “pretty certain” that CarGo will be signing elsewhere in free agency. Saunders’ column is full of Rockies topics, ranging from playoff odds to some promising young players that have had disappointing 2017 campaigns, so Rox fans will want to check it out in full.