Colorado Rockies right-handed relief pitcher Greg Holland and Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas have won the National League and American League Comeback Player of the Year Awards, respectively, the league formally announced on Friday.
It’s not as though Holland had a down year in 2016 to propel himself to the award this past season; he didn’t play in a single game. While with the Royals, the closer and three-time All-Star went under the knife to repair a significant tear in his right UCL in 2015 before the team went on to make the playoffs and win the World Series. With surgery in early October of said year, Holland was sidelined for all of 2016.
As a free agent for the first time in his career, the veteran right-hander signed with the Rockies on a one-year contract in January. He was named Reliever of the Month during April, which featured a streak of 16 consecutive successful save opportunities. Holland wound up with 41 on the season to go along with a 3-6 record, 3.61 ERA and 49 strikeouts against 26 walks over 44.2 innings. He was named an All-Star in 2017, also representing the Royals at the showcase in both 2013 and 2014.
Moustakas’ 2016 season came to abrupt end in May after he suffered a torn ACL, limiting him to 22 games on the year. He responded this past season by clubbing a single-season career-high 38 homers to go along with 85 RBIs over 148 games. The infielder was named an All-Star, the second time over his career. Moustakas posted a 1.8 WAR to add onto his career mark of 11.4, which spans seven seasons with Kansas City.