Diamondbacks name Greg Holland closer to open 2019 season

Mar 24, 2019, 3:35 PM | Updated: 4:41 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Greg Holland throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the four...
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Greg Holland throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the fourth inning of a spring baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on Sunday named Greg Holland as the team’s closer for the start of the 2019 season.

Holland, 33, beat out fellow reliever Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano for the position.

Lovullo said Holland’s experience as a closer was a key factor in the decision.

“Greg Holland’s stuff really started to be productive,” Lovullo said on Sunday. “As I’ve been saying for the last couple of days, it takes a little bit of time for a veteran to walk into spring training and know what he’s got to do to get where he’s got to get to by the end of camp.”

Holland had a 12.27 ERA in four spring appearances for the D-backs, but was the only of the three candidates to have extended experience as a closer.

Holland served as the closer for the Kansas City Royals between 2012-15 and as the Colorado Rockies’ closer in 2017.

He has 189 career saves.

Bradley and Hirano have a combined seven saves.

“It was a great competition,” Lovullo said. “Those three guys were getting after it.”

Lovullo added that Bradley “was strong considered” for the role and expects him to one day become the D-backs closer.

Lovullo said he will use Bradley in the same high-leverage role he was used in last year when Brad Boxberger was the D-backs closer.

Hirano will also be used in a setup role, per Lovullo.

“We have three moving parts (in the bullpen) that will help us win big innings for us,” Lovullo said.

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