On Tuesday, it was announced that the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America named KC Royals reliever/closer Greg Holland as their Pitcher of the Year.
After his return form the DL (where he worked on his mechanics and healed his ribs), Holland posted a 7-2 record with a 2.08 ERA. He picked up 16 saves in 60 games and opponents hit just .208 against him. Over 67 innings, he struck out 91. He struck out at least one in 14 of his final 15 appearances.
Those numbers allowed the Royals to trade then-closer Jonathan Broxton to Cincinnati and give the closer’s job to Holland. Those numbers also lowered his early season ERA of 11.37 to a respectable 2.96 at the end of the season.
On Wednesday, DH Billy Butler was named the Royals Player of the Year by the same writers. It is his third such honor (2009-2010).
Butler set career highs in 2012 in homeruns (29) and RBIs (107). Fourteen of his homeruns either tied the game or gave the Royals the lead. He also was named to his first All-Star team.
His .313 batting average was tied for sixth in the American League. He also hit 32 doubles.
Butler was the AL’s most used DH, though he did start 20 games at first base. He is the leading candidate for the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.
Dick Kaegal lists some of Butler’s top moments from the 2012 season, including his blast against St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte on June 17th at Busch Stadium. With the Royals one strike away from another loss, Butler hit a homerun to tie the game at 2-2. The Royals went on to win in 15 innings.
Do you think the KCBBWAA made the right picks?