PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rockies closer Greg Holland will face a necessary test the next two days, when he pitches in consecutive Cactus League games for the first time.Holland, a star reliever with the Royals before missing last season because of Tommy John surgery, delayed entering game action to make sure
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rockies closer Greg Holland will face a necessary test the next two days, when he pitches in consecutive Cactus League games for the first time.
Holland, a star reliever with the Royals before missing last season because of Tommy John surgery, delayed entering game action to make sure his motion was consistent. He has bounced back from his four spring outings in solid shape. Holland has had two days off twice and one day on another occasion.
When Holland pitches on Monday against the Rangers, it will be three days since his last outing -- when he struck out the side in his inning against the Indians. With the Rockies' first 14 regular-season games coming without a day off, manager Bud Black will need to know how often he can dial up Holland to protect a lead at the end.
"He says he's up for it; he needs to do it mentally and physically," Black said. "We're going to watch it, for sure."
With lefties Mike Dunn and Jake McGee, and righties Adam Ottavino and Carlos Estevez possessing experience closing games, Black can spell Holland early if he needs time to build to a normal closer's workload.
"Let's hope we get to that point, where we're winning a lot," Black said, smiling. "If we have to use more guys, that's why we've got them."
• Mark Reynolds, signed to a Minor League contract before camp, had his contract selected on Sunday. He will receive a $1.5 million salary with incentives that could bring his earnings to $2 million. Righty pitcher Chad Bettis, undergoing chemotherapy for testicular cancer, was placed on the 60-day disabled list. The Rockies' 40-man Major League roster is full.
• It's possible the Rockies will need two more roster spots, and two non-roster invitees with a chance to make the club are scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Rangers.
• If the pitching schedule for Major League games is an indication, lefty Kyle Freeland and righty Antonio Senzatela are in line for the final two starting rotation spots, barring an injury.
Freeland is set to start on Monday against the Rangers at Surprise, Ariz., and again on Saturday against the Mariners in the Spring Training finale. That schedule would put him in line for the regular season's fourth game, April 6 at Milwaukee. Senzatela will start on Tuesday against the Rangers at Salt River Fields. If he locks down the fifth spot, he is in line for the home opener, April 7 against the Dodgers.
Also, lefty Harrison Musgrave has been nominally in the race for a rotation spot, but for the second straight outing, he is working in relief behind Freeland on Monday.
Black has said he wants to carry one of the young starters early in the season, with Chris Rusin expected to begin the year on the disabled list while recovering from a right oblique strain. Musgrave's 10 strikeouts against one walk this spring bode well.
If this scenario plays out, the Rockies will need 40-man roster spots for Freeland and Musgrave, who are non-roster invitees; and righty German Marquez will be optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to provide starter depth.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.