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Rockies’ closer role up in the air without Greg Holland

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Rockies’ right-hander Greg Holland has been temporarily excused from the closer role, manager Bud Black told reporters Sunday. Holland was pulled from a save situation against the Braves on Saturday night after issuing three hits and two runs in the ninth inning. He recorded just one out before Black replaced him with Jake McGee, whose game-ending double play gave the Rockies a narrow 7-6 finish.

This isn’t the first time the Rockies have questioned Holland’s pitching mechanics. He’s had difficulty controlling his slider over his last several appearances, feeding into an ugly 15.12 ERA, 6.5 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 since the start of the month. While Black hasn’t officially removed the righty from the closer role, Holland will sit out during Sunday’s series finale to work on the pitch while the team “navigates” the ninth inning without him.

In the interim, the team still has several viable options in left-handers Jake McGee and Mike Dunn and right-hander Pat Neshek, and they’re expected to receive reinforcements when rosters expand next Friday. Neshek also appeared in Saturday’s win over the Braves, taking the win with a scoreless inning before handing the ball to Holland. Given the Rockies’ current second-place standing in the NL wild card race, the pressure to figure things out quickly is running high.

Marcus Stroman: Blue Jays are “f– terrible”

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.

Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.

Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”

Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.