The Royals have placed right-hander Greg Holland on the injured list and selected the contract of righty Brad Brach, per a team announcement. The club didn’t provide a reason for Holland’s IL placement.
Holland was largely a great reliever with the Royals from 2010-15, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in the last of those seasons and missed the team’s World Series run. The procedure kept Holland out for all of 2016, and he then endured an up-and-down few years divided among the Rockies, Cardinals and Diamondbacks.
Holland returned to Kansas City last year on a minor league deal, which proved to be a steal for the Royals. He reclaimed his old job as the team’s closer, went 6-for-6 in save opportunities and pitched to a 1.91 ERA with a 27.7 percent strikeout rate against a 6.3 percent walk rate over 28 1/3 innings.
Holland’s bounce-back 2020 performance earned him a guaranteed contract this past winter, when he re-signed with the Royals on a one-year, $2.75MM pact. Unfortunately for Holland and KC, he hasn’t been nearly as successful this year. Thanks to a couple of poor outings – including his most recent appearance on Tuesday – the 35-year-old has recorded a 6.43 ERA with three home runs allowed and more walks (seven) than strikeouts (six) in seven frames.
Brach, also 35, joined the Royals on a minors pact shortly after the Mets cut him loose in February. While the well-traveled Brach has enjoyed a quality career (3.39 ERA through 522 2/3 innings), his production and velocity have tailed off of late. Brach amassed a combined 66 2/3 innings with the Cubs and Mets over the previous two seasons and posted a 5.54 ERA with a below-average 9.7 K-BB percentage (24.7 K, 15.0 BB). Worsening matters, Brach’s average fastball velo fell from the 94 mph range to a career-low 90.4 last season.