As expected, the St. Louis Cardinals have added closer Greg Holland to their active roster. The 32-year old right hander will be in uniform, wearing number 56, for tonight’s game against Milwaukee.
“At this point, it’s kind of like Opening Day for me,” said Holland. “I’m just trying to stay even keel. Once I get out there the first time and get in the game it’s going to be pretty normal. It’s just kind of those first few days you’ve got those jitters just like any new season. For me, it’s about getting out there, getting acclimated and getting back in the swing of things.”
Recalled from Palm Beach (A+), Holland had appeared in two games, striking out a pair of hitters and allowing two hits and one run in 2.0 innings of work.
“It’s one of those things where you can throw simulated games and stuff, and live BPs, but until you get an umpire in there, until there is a scoreboard turned on, it’s a little different,” said Holland. “Same thing with Opening Day is a little different than a Spring Training game. It just is. So I’m looking forward to getting that out of the way and then just going and playing baseball. Hopefully, once we get going you get in August, September, October baseball–that intensifies too. So I’m really looking forward to it.”
To make room on the active roster for Holland, the Cardinals have optioned reliever Mike Mayers to Memphis (AAA).
Signed as a free agent by St. Louis on March 31st, Holland saved 41 games last season for Colorado and has a career record of 21-18 with a 2.60 ERA in 370 career appearances. He has recorded 500 strikeouts in 377.0 innings and converted 186 saves out of 206 opportunities.
“Obviously, it was a good fit and I’m glad we got something done,” said Holland. “I’ve actually been on the wrong end of a few here when I was with Kansas City, but it’s a great baseball town.
“I always enjoyed coming here as an opposing player–didn’t always like what I was coming up against, but now I’m on the other side of that. So I’m really excited and I think the fan base here is one that’s going to help the players perform. It always has and I’m looking forward to it.”
Holland ranks 4th among MLB relievers in save percentage (90.3%) since 2010.
photo credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports