Greg Holland deserves to be in the All-Star game as much as anyone. So it was tremendous news for the American League that the Kansas City Royals right-hander was named this weekend to replace Seattle Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma.
Holland was among the replacement players picked for either replacing an injured player or a pitcher who started on Sunday, which was Iwakuma’s case.
The voting system did not give Holland a spot in the first place, but the circumstance worked in his favor.
Outfielder Alex Gordon and catcher Salvador Perez, also of the Royals, would earlier be named to the team. It would be fitting for Holland to see action considering what he’s done for his team this season. He’s had 22 saves with a 1.80 ERA, but he’s been especially dynamic with the strikeouts. He’s had 60 Ks in 35 innings of work.
He’s pitching incredibly well in his first season as a closer. It’s clear that Holland should have been an automatic for the All-Star game, but the system that is in place to try to select additional players did not include him, at least not until Saturday.
Holland is pleased to be on the team. With the way he’s been pitching this season, American League manager Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers should plan on having Holland handy if the AL is ahead going into the bottom of the ninth inning with the National League at bat. Holland would be the man for the job.
Hopefully he’ll get an appearance on Tuesday night. He’s had a special season and deserves to be on center stage.