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Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland (56) celebrates a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Holland signed with the Colorado Rockies in the 2016 offseason. Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Rockies manager Black: If Greg Holland’s healthy, ‘heads up’

Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland (56) celebrates a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Holland signed with the Colorado Rockies in the 2016 offseason. Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Just a couple of years ago, Greg Holland ranked among the elite relievers in all of the MLB.

After back-to-back All-Star seasons in 2013 and 2014 — in which he saved more than 45 games for the Kansas City Royals — Holland had a strong 2015, but fell off a bit with a ligament tear in his pitching elbow.

In early October of that season, the Royals shut down Holland, who’d undergo Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow.

He’d miss not only Kansas City’s World Series run later that month but all of the 2016 season.

But now, 15 months removed from the procedure, the newest member of the Colorado Rockies bullpen appears to be back to his All-Star form.

“If he’s healthy, heads up,” said Rockies skipper Bud Black, who’s also in his first year with the team.

Black, speaking with 104.3 The Fan’s “Schlereth and Evans” on Wednesday, said Holland’s in a great place both mentally and physically and feels great.

“Talking to Greg, he feels as though where he is now is where he was a few years ago prior to the elbow starting to give him difficulty,” Black said.

Holland’s hit every marker and progressed through his rehabilitation timeline, Black said, and the team will monitor him during the next six weeks.

“We feel as though if he continues on this path and goes through spring training as we get pitchers in shape, he’ll be ready for Milwaukee.  He’ll be ready,” Black said. “We don’t anticipate any need to slow him down in regard to not being ready for Opening Day.”

And couple Holland with the Jake McGee and Adam Ottavino, both of whom had Tommy John surgery previously in their careers, and recently acquired Mike Dunn, the Rockies could have a formidable foursome coming out of the ‘pen.

“We like the back end of our bullpen with those four guys for sure,” Black said.

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.