Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland, left, celebrates with catcher Salvador Perez, right, following a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Monday, June 10, 2013. The Royals defeated the Tigers 3-2. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
GREG HOLLAND OF THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS NAMED THE
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL DELIVERY MAN OF THE MONTH FOR SEPTEMBER
Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland, who led the Majors with 11 saves during the season’s final month, has been named the winner of the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award for September. It marks the second monthly honor of the season for the right-hander, who also claimed the award for the month of July. He becomes the fifth pitcher to win the award multiple times in a single season since the inception of the award in 2005, joining Rafael Soriano (May, July, August 2010); J.J. Putz (May, September 2011); Aroldis Chapman (July, August 2012); and Jason Grilli (April, May 2013). Holland is also one of just two Royals pitchers to ever win the award (fourth time overall), joining Joakim Soria, who received the award in September 2008 and September 2009. This Major League Baseball award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season as voted on by a panel from Major League Baseball.
Holland converted 11 of his 12 save opportunities during the month, and tossed 15.0 innings over 15 appearances. The 27-year-old surrendered one run on seven hits with four walks and 20 strikeouts while holding opposing hitters to a .137 batting average. The 10th round pick in the 2007 Draft fanned multiple batters in seven of his 15 appearances during the month, highlighted by his performance on September 11th at Cleveland. Entering the game with no outs and runners on first and second in the ninth inning, Holland fanned each of his three batters faced to preserve a 6-2 win over the Indians. The Marion, North Carolina native collected his 46th save of the season on September 26th against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field to set a new single-season mark in Royals history, surpassing the previous mark of 45 shared by Dan Quisenberry (1983) and Jeff Montgomery (1993). Holland added one last save to bring his record-setting total to 47 in his last appearance of the season on September 29th at Chicago. Holland struck out two batters in the season finale to tie Jim York (1971) for the most strikeouts by a reliever in a single season in Royals history (103). The 2013 A.L. All-Star, who finished the season 2-1 with a 1.21 ERA, led the A.L. in strikeouts and ranked second in saves behind Baltimore’s Jim Johnson (50). Greg’s 1.23 ERA marked the lowest in team history among pitchers with at least 60.0 innings pitched, and his 103 strikeouts were the most by an A.L. reliever since Putz collected 104 strikeouts for the Seattle Mariners in 2006.
Other relievers receiving votes included Toronto Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen (0-0, 1.17 ERA, 8 SV, 7.2 IP, 1 BB, 10 SO); Baltimore Orioles closer Jim Johnson (0-1, 0.69 ERA, 9 SV, 13.0 IP, 1 BB, 12 SO); Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek (1-0, 0.82 ERA, 6 SV, 11.0 IP, 4 BB, 18 SO); New York Mets closer LaTroy Hawkins (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 SV, 12.0 IP, 0 BB, 11 SO); and Soriano (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 SV, 10.0 IP, 4 BB, 8 SO) of the Washington Nationals.