The Cardinals announced today that they’ve activated veteran reliever Greg Holland from the disabled list. To open a roster spot, the club moved righty Matt Bowman to the 10-day DL with blisters on his middle finger.
Now that he’s back from an extended stretch on the shelf due to a hip impingement, Holland will look to reestablish himself after a brutal start to the season. He’s playing on a hefty $14MM contract before returning to the open market at the end of the year, so both player and team have ample incentive to get him back on track.
Unfortunately, Holland’s rehab results largely mirror those from his time in the majors earlier this year. Most worryingly, he’s continuing to dole out far too many free passes. In 20 1/3 total innings this year at all levels, Holland has walked twenty batters. The rest of the numbers are similarly iffy, as the former closer has been tagged for 19 earned runs on 27 hits while recording only 16 strikeouts.
Given his long history of success, perhaps there’s still reason to hope Holland can find something upon his return. While his days as one of the best relief arms in baseball are long since past, he was able to lead the National League with 41 saves last year while carrying a 72 ERA- and recording 11.0 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9.
At this point, the Cards are likely hoping that Holland can throw well enough to justify an ongoing roster spot. Surely the club would be overjoyed if he can show himself worthy of some late-inning work. Holland’s form over the next five weeks will have a significant impact on the team’s deadline plans, as the bullpen looks like a potential area for mid-season upgrades.