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

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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.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.