St. Louis Cardinals: Greg Holland was DFA’d, not that you wanna hear it
By Matt Graves
St. Louis Cardinals fans loved to throw hate at the front office because of a former player being successful on another team. Turns out he wasn’t.
I don’t mean to be this toxic towards St. Louis Cardinals fans, but it is really easy and it almost pains me to not point it out. The news that Arizona Diamondbacks closer, Greg Holland, has been designated for assignment is not going to get much play here in St. Louis.
Last year, the Cardinals signed Greg Holland around Opening Day and it took him just 9 days to get into MLB games. It felt rushed at the time and looking back, it clearly was. For a guy who missed all of the usual time spent at Spring Training getting ready for the season, what was coming shouldn’t have been surprising.
In his 32 games with the Cardinals, Holland posted a 7.92 ERA with a horrid 12.2 hits per nine and 7.9 walks per nine. It was clear he hadn’t gotten enough time to get ready for the season and it took until July 21st for the Cardinals to give up on Holland.
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An All-Star the year before, this was not something the Cardinals expected at all and at the time of the signing, the shiny $14M addition to the bullpen was hopefully going to be a great option at closer after his star years in Kansas City and Colorado. But understandably the Cardinals finally gave up on him and let him go while swallowing his high salary.
From there he went on to pitch for the Washington Nationals for just a 0.84 ERA over 24 games down the stretch. There wasn’t a clear change, he just got better. Plain and simple.
At the time, Cardinals fans were understandably frustrated that he left and did so well for another team and Mo heard the brunt of it for the rest of the Summer, and for somewhat good reason.
Coming into this year, Holland signed a $3.25M deal with the Diamondbacks and did pretty well in April and May with a 0.00 and 3.12 ERA with 9 saves in that time. Then in June, he jumped up to a 4.32 ERA and then a 13.50 ERA in July.
Finally, the Diamondbacks DFA’d him as he was no longer effective in August and so he is a free agent. Many people will find this irrelevant, but Holland’s path since leaving the Cardinals will be chopped up and fans will only pay attention to when he was good and then call out Mo for it.
That’s the frustrating thing that I’m trying to point out here. This story won’t get much play in St. Louis because Holland being bad doesn’t fit the storyline that fans want to believe and be angry about. Fans often just like to be angry about something and Holland was a great case study for that.
Nobody in the world could’ve guessed that Holland would fall off the map as much as he has. Mo was an unfortunate victim of what happens to a lot of relievers. If anything, Holland is a lesson as to why spending lots of money on a bullpen isn’t smart.
Mo stepped on a landmine that some other team would’ve had he not. It’s not his fault that it shook out that way, but don’t ignore the fact that Holland hasn’t been good outside of a few months in his time after wearing the birds on the bat.