Holland to assume closer's role with Broxton out

Holland to assume closer's role with Broxton out

KANSAS CITY -- With Jonathan Broxton departing the Royals' bullpen, the team needs a new closer, and according to manager Ned Yost, it was an obvious choice.

Greg Holland will be the new ninth-inning man, with Tuesday's trade shipping Broxton to Cincinnati in exchange for a pair of pitching prospects.

"We'll go with Greg Holland right now," Yost said. "I think that he's been very solid down there, and we'll give him an opportunity to close games out.

"He was pretty obvious for me right now. He's been pretty consistent, and we feel that his stuff is all the way back to where it was last year when he was really successful."

On the season, Holland is 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA. He's allowed 16 runs on 39 hits and 23 walks over 39 2/3 innings. But the right-hander has been particularly good since returning from the disabled list on May 11. In 34 appearances since then, he's 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA and nine holds.

Before the game, Holland still didn't know whether he'd be the team's new closer, but he said he was going to keep doing the same things that have been successful for him.

"Just the same thing I've been doing: attack the strike zone and make guys beat you with the bat, take the ninth inning the same way you take the seventh and the eighth, just go try to get quick outs," Holland said.

The departure of Broxton means the team loses its bullpen leader. Despite being 28 years old, Broxton was the veteran of the relief corps. Holland said he learned a lot about composure from Broxton's example.

"Just the way he carried himself, mainly. You didn't know if he had bases loaded or no one out. He saved more than he blew, but when he blew one he was ready the next day just being able to be even-keeled and just having that same mindset day in and day out," Holland said.

"They've got a bunch of talent here. They're not far away from winning here either. I came here and just tried to be a leader to some of these young guys, and I hate that I've got to go. But I've got to go," Broxton said.