The St. Louis Cardinals 14 million dollar man, Greg Holland, is getting ready to start round two of rehab. The first stint was less than ideal.
There is not a single person who watches the St. Louis Cardinals reliever and thinks his stuff is the issue. It is the location. But I promise not to beat any dead horses in terms of Greg Holland and his physical performance on the field to this point in the year.
The important part about rehab number two is how Holland’s head comes back. It really is not a stretch to describe his struggles as purely mental to this point. There is really not a change in his mechanics that suggest anything out of the ordinary. It is all between the ears.
Rehabbing the mental part of the game is not easy, especially for relievers. In the minors, Holland should have gained back some confidence. Instead, he bombed. So, while it is still rehabbing an injury, the mental game is by far the most important part of the upcoming minors stint.
Per Joe Trezza, this is an expected second trial. This time, Holland will be in Springfield instead of Memphis. That is a key point to know. In Memphis he is facing the guys like Yasmany Tomas, who was playing for Reno. Oh, and Tomas took him deep for a three run blast.
How Does Springfield Help?
It is a lower level, and I doubt that has to do with his hip injury. The Double A competition will allow Holland to throw the ball over the plate. That is step one. A mental recovery will mean Holland needs to just throw the ball over the plate with as little repercussion as possible. Once that happens, he can start to paint corners, in theory. It is not rocket science, given his BB/9 over 10.
Double A players are extremely talented, but Holland’s stuff moves like an MLB All-Star. As can be imagined, Double A batters will generally not be prepared for that. It is a confidence builder for his head, and physical rehab for his hip.
Results Based Rehab?
No. Holland can get knocked around plenty without worry of a decline. Strikes are what matter for this round, and if he can find the plate it will be promising. No one is questioning the talent, just the results. And the results increase as the control gets better. Without any blaring mechanical issue, throwing strikes will increase Holland’s mental confidence. That is a result the St. Louis Cardinals could really use.
This is some important rehab, but don’t read into the results too much. Read into the strike percentage, and that will be the indicator for what Holland is coming out on the other side. If he can’t figure it out, then this season will have to be the easiest 14 million he has ever made.