Davis replaces Holland as Royals' closer

Davis replaces Holland as Royals' closer

KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost said prior to Tuesday's game with the Mariners that right-hander Wade Davis will take over as closer for Greg Holland for the rest of the season and through the postseason.

The move comes on the heels of Holland's fifth blown save last Friday in a 5-4 loss to the Tigers.

Holland, who has 32 saves and a 3.83 ERA, was not available to comment after Yost revealed the news. Holland had held the closer role since midway through the 2012 season.

Yost also said Holland will rest a few days because of tightness in his right elbow.

"He's been battling with it all year," Yost said of Holland's elbow soreness. "He's got 30-something saves and he's dealing with it. You manage it."

Holland closes the door

But Yost said as the playoffs near, he needed reliability out of his closer.

"Pretty much going to go with Wade," Yost said. "You know what you got with Wade. With Holly, you don't know one day to the next how his elbow will be. Is it going to be sore? Is it going to be stiff?

"So we have to have a built-in backup for Holly if he gets in trouble -- we have another guy to come in and get him out of trouble. But in the closer's role you don't have that. By then, you've extinguished every pitcher you have."

Davis is 13 for 13 in save opportunities this season with a 0.88 ERA.

Yost said he doesn't foresee shutting down Holland in hopes of aiding his recovery.

"Rest isn't going to help," Yost said. "He's been functional with it all year long. It's been sorer this past month or so, and he's continued to pitch through it and been successful for the most part."

Since the start of the 2013 season, Holland's 125 saves are the most in baseball behind Craig Kimbrel's 134. But Holland's velocity, which was able to reach 96 mph earlier this season, has sat in the 89-91 range recently.

Demoting Holland wasn't easy for Yost.

"Of course, it's difficult for everyone involved because you know what a competitor he is," Yost said. "You know he's been out there pitching through issues. And he's been successful for the most part. We got 13 games left, and you have to know what you're going to put out there. These are not easy decisions."

Yost said he isn't sure what role Holland will have when he returns from a few days of rest.

"Again, we'll just judge it day to day," Yost said. "It depends on usage. But he can get through just about every situation."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.