Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland put a scare into the purple-wearing faithful for the first time in last night's 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Coming into the contest, he had yet to allow a run in 2017 and was riding a streak of seven consecutive, relatively drama free, saves. But he gave up a pair of runs to the Dodgers and a deep drive from Yasiel Puig had Rockies fans thinking back to the horrible feeling so often felt at the end of games in 2016. 'Twas not Puig's night, however, as the ball fell just short and Holland made it eight straight.
And while he is off to as good a start as anyone could have hoped for, that doesn't necessarily mean he has proved the doubters wrong. There's a lot of baseball to play yet this season, the Rockies have used their bullpen a decent amount already -- though they don't make the Top 5 in MLB -- and one concern with Tomm John is how it ultimately affect longevity.
But another concern coming in was that Holland would lose some of his signatures velocity. The stats say, though, that he is throwing the fastball at almost the exact same velo as he was before the surgery:
Credit: Baseball Savant
The one area in which Holland actually has seen a dramatic dropoff in velocity is on his cutter. That pitch doesn't need the pace on it to be effective, but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on as we move forward.
As far as the fastball goes, Holland declined after 2013 and then again a little bit after 2014 but has been mostly consistent since. He threw the fastest pitch of the season, a 97 mph heater, last night.
It's tough to say that Holland is fully back to his best self. He could be. The fastball could still be heating up with his arm still on the long road back to full health. We may see these numbers go back up. Or maybe they stay here and he remains just as effective. Of course, there's always the possibility we see a dive in either velocity or production.
As it stands now, Greg Holland is getting the job done with a fastball averaging roughly 94 mph, showing signs he has even more in the tank.