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Royals undecided on Jonathan Broxton or Greg Holland as Joakim Soria closer replacement

Mar 22, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

Regardless of whether Joakim Soria is able to rest and rehab his damaged ulnar collateral ligament or undergoes season-ending Tommy John surgery the Royals will need a new closer.

Free agent signing Jonathan Broxton is the obvious replacement because of his previous experience in the role, but Greg Holland was great as a rookie setup man last season and manager Ned Yost hasn’t decided yet who will get the nod to replace Soria.

Or at least that’s what Yost told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star:

They’ve both looked great this spring. We’ll give it time to play out. We could very well use both of them in that situation. I’ve got the confidence to use both of them. I think they both can handle it.

Managers often say they’re willing to use multiple pitchers in the closer role, but rarely do they actually go through with those plans for more than a few save opportunities.

Kansas City paid $4 million to see if Broxton can rediscover his once-dominant raw stuff and pitching coach Dave Eiland told Dutton that the former Dodgers closer has been very impressive while throwing in the mid-90s. Of course, Holland was dominant last year, logging 60 innings with a 1.80 ERA and 74/19 K/BB ratio while averaging 94.9 miles per hour with his fastball.

  1. aaronmoreno - Mar 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Powder blue does not become that ample frame.

    • jdl1325 - Mar 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      That was my exact thought.

  2. l0yalr0yal - Mar 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    After the way Soria pitched last year, this actually may work out. Holland has good, unpolished stuff, and Broxton really looks strong (aside from yesterday’s game), I think they could effectively be interchanged day to day and we will be just fine.

  3. - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    I think they should pick one and role with it. However, I think both would be more than capable of holding the closer job down.

  4. firstandonlywarning - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    If Broxton is the “obvious” replacement, then why isn’t this an easy choice for Yost?

    Ohhh right
    Broxton signed a 1 year deal and hasnt done jack since 2009
    While the In-house guy that the Royals actually know was a beast last year.

    The logical choice is Yost picking the guy he already knows.
    Going out on a limb with a guy he never managed, only signed to a 1 year deal and has an injury history is not the obvious choice.

    Which is why he hasn’t made it yet.

  5. cup0pizza - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Broxton’s terrible.

  6. The Baseball Idiot - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Why do you need a closer on a team that will struggle to finsh .500.

    At this stage, they need to develop starters, not closers.

    (no, as much as I love it, I am not suggesting that the Royals starters actually complete their starts)

    But the team has other things they need to worry about over who gets meaningless saves in games they would end up winning anyhow.

    • cardinalcrazy - Mar 22, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      They need to develop any player so they can effectively trade them away for minor league talent.

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