Players need roles. They need to know they're the leadoff hitter, the utility guy or one of the worst starting pitchers in the history of the game.
This is especially true in the modern bullpen. You have your long man, mop-up guy, LOOGY, ROOGY, seventh inning guy who pitches with a lead, eighth inning guy who pitches with a lead and Closer.
And with Jonathan Broxton heading to Cincinnati, the Royals have a new Closer.
Hello, Greg Holland.
Holland seems a natural fit for the closer role.
He owns a 12.7 SO/9, best rate on the team. He has a track record over the previous couple of seasons of dominance. His performance since returning from an early season visit to the DL has been mostly outstanding. Over his last 34 games covering 33.1 innings, he has a 2.16 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 19 walks. Hey, I'd like the command to be better, but you can't have everything.
The Royals bullpen has been a strength, so that means there's no shortage of candidates. Now, put yourself in the manager's shoes. Broxton is gone... Who is your choice for closer?