The Colorado Rockies took a chance by signing closer Greg Holland last offseason. The move paid off for the team and for Holland in big ways, including an award handed out by Major League Baseball on Friday afternoon.
Holland and Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas were tabbed on Friday as the recipients of the 2017 National League and American League Comeback Player of the Year Awards, respectively. The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and presented annually to one player in the American and National League who, according to Major League Baseball, “has re-emerged on the field during the season.” According to Major League Baseball, the 30 Club beat reporters from MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates (one per team).
After going 3-2 with a 3.61 ERA, 26 walks and 70 strikeouts spanning 57.1 innings pitched and notching 41 saves, Holland becomes the first-ever member of the Colorado Rockies to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
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Holland and Moustakas played together with the Royals from 2011-2015 before Holland was diagnosed with a “significant tear” in his right ulnar collateral ligament close to the end of the 2015 season. He would undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2016 season. During that time, the Royals decided not to re-sign Holland, making him a free agent and opening the door for the 32-year-old right-hander to join the Rockies prior to the 2017 campaign.
In his first year with the Rockies, Holland was a big part of Colorado’s first postseason appearance since 2009. Holland logged 41 saves, tying Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen for the most in the National League. That number was the second-most in Major League Baseball behind only Tampa Bay’s Alex Colomé 47 saves.
The 41 saves also tied Colorado’s single-season record originally set by Jose Jimenez in 2002. Holland was also named National League Reliever of the Month in both April and May and was selected to his third career All-Star Game (his first outside of his Kansas City playing days).