Out since April 21 with what the Royals termed a left rib stress reaction, Greg Holland began a minor-league rehab assignment at Double-A yesterday.
Holland allowed one run in one inning, throwing 19 pitches, and thanks to technology Royals manager Ned Yost watched the outing live on MiLB.tv.
Dick Kaegel of MLB.com reports that the right-hander’s fastball topped out at 94-95 miles per hour, and both Holland and Yost seemed generally pleased with how things went.
Once he’s ready Holland will return to a setup role in front of closer Jonathan Broxton, who beat him out for ninth-inning duties after Joakim Soria went down in spring training. He had a 1.80 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 60 innings setting up Soria as a rookie last season.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.