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  • Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Greg Holland, RHP, Diamondbacks


    Ted Schwerzler

    Continuing down the path of searching out relief help for the Minnesota Twins, a host of closers and high-leverage arms can all be explored. The latest target is a guy who once tormented the hometown nine from the opposing bullpen. No longer the fireballer from the Kansas City Royals pen, he's still a serviceable arm that's carved out a pretty solid career.

    Image courtesy of © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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    *You're going to see a lot of speculation and analysis on potential bullpen additions at the site over the coming weeks. Cody led things off earlier this week with a great overview of 10 potential trade targets. We'll continue to explore the reliever market by running profiles on specific pitchers each day.

    Greg Holland, RHP, 33-years-old

    Arizona Diamondbacks (35-33, 3rd place in NL West)

    Free agent following 2019 season

    2019: 2.08 ERA, 1.015 WHIP, 11.6 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 in 21.2 IP

    2018: 4.66 ERA, 1.619 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, 6.2 BB/9 in 46.1 IP

    What’s to Like?

    This season Holland found an immediate suitor and was able to start his year on a traditional note. After a shortened spring and two teams in 2018, being back on track with the Diamondbacks has had to feel good. His 2.08 ERA is the lowest it’s been since 2014 and neither the FIP nor xFIP numbers suggest a crazy amount of regression is ahead.

    Holland has operated in the closer role previously, leading the league in saves during the 2017 season. With just shy of 200 saves in his career the 9th inning, or similar high leverage, is nothing new to him. This season Holland has skirted trouble be keeping opponents bats at bay allowing just a 5.0 H/9.

    A 14% whiff rate is an improvement over last season and his 37% chase rate is a career best. He remains predominantly a fastball and slider pitcher, and that’s been his blueprint for most of his career.

    Concerns

    He's 33-years-old, surgery in the rear view, and just shy of 500 miles on his arm, Holland is working to stave off Father Time with each year that goes by. He has lost a bit more velocity (down to 92.2 mph) on his fastball, and his 4.2 BB/9 is on par with career norms. Prior to surgery he was a guy that never allowed the long ball, but he’s doing so now at a 1.2 HR/9 clip.

    A trade would have Holland on his fourth team in the past two seasons, and while it’s not reflective of clubhouse issues, no one has bought entirely into his ability to help them long term either. An impending free agent, his acquisition cost should be relatively low, but there’s no future benefit to this deal either.

    If there’s a way to define what Holland is right now, it’s probably a bit softer throwing Fernando Rodney of 2018. That worked out well for the Twins, but I’m still not sure if he’s the guy Minnesota would’ve wanted at the end of a must-win playoff game. If the club is making two moves, this could be that secondary level.

    See Also

    Sean Doolittle, LHP, Nationals

    Kirby Yates, RHP, Padres

    10 Relievers Minnesota Could Target

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    yeah... for a team that may be willing to wait a bit, this is a cost effective now move that gives us one more arm in the back of the pen at a controllable price. I think getting a guy like Holland early and then paying a higher price in a month for a Giles type later would be smart. 

    I doubt Holland is available now.

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