Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
Greg Holland was announced as the 2012 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday after a solid season of relief, which included a two-month stint as the Royals' closer.
Holland, 26, posted a 2.96 ERA in 67 innings of work while striking out 91 batters, which ranked third among American League relievers. Holland faced some early struggles, particularly with control, which led to a fairly high number of walks (4.6 per nine innings). However, he overcame the issues to put up a 2.08 ERA over his final 60 outings and maintain a strong grip on the closer role, which he claimed on July 31. Holland converted 16 saves in 18 opportunities in the season's final two months.
The award is part of a series of team-specific honors voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. On Monday, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar was announced as the recipient of the 2012 Joe Burke Special Achievement award. On Wednesday at noon CT, the team will name the 2012 Les Milgram Player of the Year.