BREAKING:

Deep bullpen gives Royals cause for optimism

The SportsXchange

Manager Ned Yost is confident that if his Kansas City Royals have a lead after six innings, the bullpen will hold it.

Yost has four good reasons to feel that way: right-handers Greg Holland, Aaron Crow and Kelvin Herrera and left-hander Tim Collins.

"I have the utmost confidence in the back end of our bullpen if we get into the sixth, seventh, eighth innings that we've got power arms that I can bring into the game and win ballgames with," Yost said. "I've got as much confidence in that area of our team as I do anywhere."

Holland assumed the closer duties last July 31 after Jonathan Broxton was traded to the Reds. Holland converted his first 13 save opportunities after the trade and finished with 16 saved in 18 chances.

"I figured it was an opportunity," Holland said. "The eighth or ninth inning doesn't matter to me. I just go out and try to get outs no matter what the situation."

Crow was a 2011 American League All-Star as a rookie, and his 19 holds last season tied Herrera for the team lead. Herrera, who has lit up radar guns with a 100 mph fastball, went 4-2 with three saves and a 1.52 ERA after July 5. He set a club rookie record by appearing in 76 games.

Collins topped American League relievers with 93 strikeouts last year. He was the only Royal who will play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.

"It's very solid," Yost said of his bullpen.
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