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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: GREG HOLLAND ARRIVAL SPELLS MAJOR TROUBLE FOR ADAM OTTAVINO

When you sign former All-Star closer Greg Holland in free agency, the expectation is that he will serve as your closer before too long.  That is likely what the Colorado Rockies have in mind after signing Holland to a deal on Wednesday pending a physical.  With the Rockies seemingly on a yearly quest to boost the back end of their bullpen, Holland no doubt is a possible big answer considering his past as a top tier closer prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery in early 2016.  While Holland has pronounced himself ready to contribute from the start of the season, it is possible the Rockies will play things cautiously with their new bullpen piece early on in spring training.  Ultimately though, Holland's arrival could be disastrous for Adam Ottavino who was expected to be the team's closer prior to the transaction being agreed upon.  Ottavino of course came back in 2016 from his own Tommy John surgery but his always potent K/9 rate was tailor-made for the bullpen.  Unfortunately Holland has cache and the experience edge and it was only in 2013 and 2014 when Holland was arguably the best closer in the game as he logged ERA's of 1.21 and 1.44 respectively, to go with K/9 rates that went over 12.00 in both campaigns.  With a fastball that can touch 100 mph, Holland is the real deal when healthy and so he has to be drafted under the assumption he will close over Ottavino,  Of course if you draft Holland, you also need to back him up with Ottavino to be safe.  Closing games in Colorado has always been an adventure that has swallowed up names such as Jason Motte, Jose Jimenez, Carlos Estevez, and Jake McGee.  Holland is far from safe given the environment and health but he needs to be added to the top 30 for 2017 among bullpen pitchers.


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