Moving forward in the immediate future, the St. Louis Cardinals will be changing how they use reliever Greg Holland.
“No, I don’t think he’ll be used in the 9th inning at this time,” answered John Mozeliak, President of Baseball Operations. “There were certainly some positive steps that we saw, but unfortunately Friday night he got in a situation where it just imploded.
“I think when you look at his resume and what he was able to do, we have to get him back to where he has that confidence of you know it’s going to work.”
After four straight scoreless appearances, Holland was unable to close out the 9th inning on Friday in Pittsburgh, allowing the Pirates to tie the game in what eventually resulted in 6-5 loss in 11 innings. Mozeliak expressed comfort with Bud Norris being used in the closer role and also noted that Sam Tuivailala is being stretched out to cover multiple innings as the bullpen readjusts moving forward.
“When I look back at this past spring, three guys stand out that had just very unusual springs,” continued Mozeliak. “Obviously, Cecil had a shortened camp. Makes the club, first game back–shoulder. Gregerson, two appearances in Jupiter. Holland, signed the night before the season opens. All these guys are going to have to be treated a little differently as we think about how you manage that bullpen. So the key is, sort of going back to the Tui reference, is making sure we have that person that can go the multi-inning. When you hear and think about Gregerson or Holland, Norris for that matter, at this point these are all one inning guys. I would envision when you look at the left-side too, trying to protect Lyons, Cecil, or even Sherriff, one inning guys. So it’s just trying to find that right combination as we move forward.”
Because of his service time, Holland can not be optioned to a minor league team without his consent, but is that type of move needed for him to return to the form that resulted in 125 saves over the course of three seasons?
“I’m not feeling that’s probably our next step at the moment, but I don’t think anything’s off the table when you are sort of looking at how to solve a problem,” said Mozeliak. “Having said that, this guy’s confident. He believes he can do this. And trying to get him back to that more traditional 1/1 ratio on fastball/slider I think’s important and having command of that strike zone is important too. When you can get ahead and put a hitter away, that’s what we need to see happen.”
Adam Wainwright played catch today and if all goes well in terms of recovery, will throw a bullpen tomorrow.
“We just have to be smart about this,” said Mozeliak. “As much as we want to get him back in the rotation and back throwing, I certainly don’t want it to be one of those situations where we push and then we end up taking three steps backwards. I think we need to be very cognizant of where he’s at before we decided to hit the go button.”
At the moment, Mozeliak said he does not anticipate Wainwright needing to make a rehab start, but that could change if the situation lingers.
— Brian Stull (@StullySTL) May 1, 2018
–The St. Louis Cardinals have announced the recall of first baseman Luke Voit and have optioned pitcher Mike Mayers to Memphis (AAA). Voit missed the beginning of the season due to an oblique strain and has hit .205 (8-39) in 12 games since being activated from the disabled list by Memphis.
Voit made his big league debut with the Cardinals last season, appearing in 62 games. He hit .246 (28-114) with 4 home runs and 18 RBIs–including 10 pinch hits.
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