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Inbox: What can Cards expect from Holland?

Jenifer Langosch returns to answer questions about the Cards closer, Machado trade packages and parenting
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- Hello, old friends. It's good to have my byline back and to start interacting with you again as we get ready for what projects to be a fascinating second half in the National League Central. Before diving into your questions, I'd be remiss not to recognize the outstanding work Joe Trezza did filling in while I was away on maternity leave. I trust that you enjoyed his content and perspective.

OK, now onto the good stuff:

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ST. LOUIS -- Hello, old friends. It's good to have my byline back and to start interacting with you again as we get ready for what projects to be a fascinating second half in the National League Central. Before diving into your questions, I'd be remiss not to recognize the outstanding work Joe Trezza did filling in while I was away on maternity leave. I trust that you enjoyed his content and perspective.

OK, now onto the good stuff:

View Full Game Coverage

Given Greg Holland's poor performance at the big league level, his very poor performance vs. Minor Leaguers in rehab stints, real blown saves, real losses and a high ERA, what has to happen to have him go the way of Jonathan Broxton and Jhonny Peralta?
-- Doug M., @BeyondTheArk

The leash can't be that much longer for Holland. Yes, releasing him midseason would require the Cardinals to eat whatever is left on his $14 million deal. But the fact that he's on a one-year contract makes that more palatable. Results aren't always paramount in a Minor League rehab assignment, but Holland's were concerning on the heels of a terrible first two months in St. Louis.

He'll get another chance -- the Cardinals plan to activate him from the disabled list this week -- but if Holland remains a liability in the 'pen, I can't imagine that chance lasting more than a few weeks. With other relievers expected off the disabled list before the All-Star break, the Cardinals are going to soon be squeezed for space anyway.

My question is about Manny Machado. It has been reported that the Cards had the most substantial package [this offseason], but backed off. What would said package look like, and is it still a possibility?
-- Pete J., @MRJTeacherMan

Acquiring Machado last winter would have cost any club more in talent than it will now, given that he's several months closer to free agency. But the hit would still hurt. The Orioles would likely zero in on acquiring standout pitching prospects in order to make such a deal, and that could make the likes of Jordan Hicks, Jack Flaherty, Luke Weaver and Dakota Hudson targets. The Cardinals prefer not to mortgage future depth for a one-year player, which makes doing so for a two-month rental even more unlikely.

What's up with Ryan Sherriff? Did he actually have Tommy John surgery? Why hasn't the club announced it? And does this injury occurring when he wasn't on the Major League roster essentially tie the club up, or could they put him on the 60-day disabled list and free up a spot on the 40-man roster?
-- Oliver B., @OliverBacus

The Cardinals did recently confirm that Sherriff will be out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The club can move him onto the 60-day disabled list and will do so when they need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. They just haven't had that impetus to this point. It's the same flexibility the club has with Alex Reyes, who remains on the 10-day DL even though he won't pitch again in 2018.

Is Paul DeJong expected to make a rehab appearance with Triple-A Memphis or Double-A Springfield?
-- Rich D., @richdameron

The Cardinals tend to make those decisions based on which affiliate is home at the time a player goes out on a rehab assignment, so timing will determine that. DeJong might even spend time in Class A ball if the club chooses to transfer his rehab work to Florida, where the Cardinals have extensive resources at their Spring Training facility.

Before any assignment is set, though, DeJong first has a few more hurdles to clear. He traveled with the Cardinals to Philadelphia after starting to swing a bat again. By the end of the week, he hopes to be taking batting practice. Seeing how his surgically repaired left hand responds to that test will help clarify a timeline for return.

We haven't heard much about innings limits for Jack Flaherty. Does the front office have a plan to scale back his innings as the season goes on?
-- Matt H.

You haven't heard much on the topic because there isn't a high level of concern. Unlike Reyes, who was coming off a season missed due to injury, Flaherty logged 148 2/3 innings in 2017. Right now, he's on pace to throw 193. The Cardinals won't let him get that high, but that can be managed by shifting schedules around the All-Star break or skipping a start here or there. Whatever the method, the Cardinals won't back themselves into a spot where they'll be shutting Flaherty down in September because of workload concerns.

Only baseball-related [questions]? Because I'm a soon-to-be-dad who has lots of questions about how to up my dad WAR and wRC+.
-- David J., @iPopEditor

My advice: Never shy away from handling a dirty diaper. Don't sleep through the inevitable middle-of-the-night chaos. Surprise your wife by picking up other household chores you wouldn't normally do (without being asked). Manage the inevitable influx of visitors. Read the directions when building baby furniture/gear. And never complain about being tired because, trust me, she'll be more so.

Oh, and if your wife downloads an expectant-dad app onto your phone, don't approach her in the middle of the third trimester asking if she knows your password. Unless, of course, you're OK with her knowing you never read a thing it had to say.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Paul DeJong, Greg Holland, Ryan Sherriff