I’m sure from the title of this article many of you are instantly pissed at me. I was one of the biggest fans of this move. You can look back at my off-season piece from last year. I wanted Greg Holland. I thought he could bring a lot to this club. And as it turned out, it didn’t work out. It was actually one of the worst moves of the year if you look at it from a production perspective.
For St. Louis, Holland had an ERA of 7.92 over 25 innings. He had a strikeout and walk rate of 7.9 per 9 innings. He wasn’t good for the Cardinals. Holland also gave up a career high 12.2 H/9. His WHIP was a ridiculous 2.24. His FIP of 4.56 showed that some of his misfortune could have been just bad luck, but that didn’t stop the fan base from turning on the reliever quickly. What seemed to be a spectacular move turned into a disaster. You know what makes it worse? Holland was released and then managed to sign with Washington, where he had a spectacular 2nd half.
Once he was with Washington, Holland seemed to figure things out, sporting an ERA of 0.84 over 21.1 innings. His WHIP lowered to 0.89 and he still had a respectable FIP of just 2.97. Just take a look at how drastically different he was after his time in Washington.
|18′ STL||18 WSH|
He had a bWAR of -1.5 with St. Louis, and ended up with a 1.3 bWAR in Washington. My question is, why didn’t we get this version of Greg Holland? Could you imagine if this situation was reversed? What if Holland would have struggled with another team and we swiped him up after being released? It’s no question that the Cardinals had issues in the bullpen. One of the few bright spots was Bud Norris, who had a tremendous first half, but take a look at his numbers compared to Holland in Washington.
Isn’t it funny how as soon as Holland leaves, he succeeds, and suddenly one of our better relievers goes south? It’s a night a day difference between the two pitchers. Within most WAR ratings, the pitchers are almost even. So despite Hollands early struggles, he was actually just about as productive as Norris was in 2018. It’s crazy to think it, but it’s true.
Holland remains a free agent despite his resurgence in Washington. If I were the Cardinals, I’d keep my eye on him, but for crying out loud don’t wait until opening day to do something with him. I’m not sure that Holland would want a return to St. Louis, because frankly I don’t think the fan base would give him a second chance. I’d love to see what happens with him this off-season and I’ll be sure to follow him to see how he does. I was disappointed like most fans were at his 2018 performance, but I do think that his time in Washington shows that he still has value in any bullpen.
What are your thoughts? Would you bring back Holland after seeing him in Washington?
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