KANSAS CITY -- Closer Greg Holland is the only Royals player nominated for a GIBBY -- the Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards, for which fans are casting ballots on MLB.com -- and he has pitching coach Dave Eiland's vote.
"It's a credit to him," Eiland said. "Everybody talks about his stuff -- his fastball and his slider and his good change are almost unhittable when he's on -- but it's his approach and his makeup as well that make him as good as he is. You don't teach a guy or force a kid to have that kind of makeup. He just kind of has it, he was kind of born with it."
Holland had 47 saves and blew just three saves in his 2013 campaign. Those rare glimpses of vulnerability reminded Eiland of his time as Yankees pitching coach with legendary Mariano Rivera.
"It kind of leaves you speechless, because you're not used to seeing it. It kind of brought me back to my years with Rivera -- like, 'Oh wow, well, I guess he is human,'" Eiland said. "But Greg was absolutely tremendous. I don't think anybody could've predicted a better year for him than he had."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.