This story originally appeared in Mile High Sports Magazine. Read the full digital edition.

Each month Mile High Sports Magazine sits down with an important figure in Colorado sports. For July, Connor Cape spoke with Rockies All-Star closer Greg Holland. Here’s the best of what Holland had to say about coming to Colorado and his successful start to the 2017 season…

[This Rockies team and the 2015 Royals] are pretty similar as far as the makeup of the group. It’s a good mix of young, talented players with some veteran leadership. The biggest thing is how well we mesh. It happened early in Spring Training. I didn’t really know what to expect coming here for the first time, but they kind of welcomed me with open arms and it’s been a good atmosphere in the clubhouse. We keep it loose, but we know when the lights come on it’s time to play ball and that’s kind of how we did it at Kansas City.

My expectations in coming to Colorado were to just do what they ask me to do. I didn’t know if I was going to be thrown in the ninth inning, eighth inning, or what. I just wanted to be healthy and prove that I was healthy again – and prove that I could get the job done when called on.

[Before Tommy John surgery] I pitched with some discomfort for a long time, so it was nice when I got back to throwing – especially Spring Training, when I got to face hitters for the first time in over a year. I kind of got over that hurdle where I was pitching more frequently and my body started to recover better and better each time out, so I feel really good right now.

I fully expected to be healthy this year, but I can tell them, ‘I’m going to be healthy,’ but they don’t know that. I [had] a chance to prove I’m healthy, so the contract was good for both sides.

I try not to do anything different [in the National League or at Coors Field]. I try to stick to my strengths. That might vary outing to outing, but I don’t try to worry about where I’m pitching or what team I’m pitching against. I haven’t faced a lot of these teams, so I’ve had to do some questioning, talking to guys who are more familiar with the hitters as far as game planning.

[Bud Black] is one of the reasons I signed here, knowing he was a pitching guy, [along with] Steve Foster and Darren Holmes. All those guys know what it feels like to grind it out. They’ve been very vocal with me, communicating how I feel on a day-to-day basis. If I need a day, they’re going to give me a day – no questions asked – because they want to keep me healthy. We had those conversations before I signed, and that was a big factor for me signing here.

I was a big Braves fan growing up, so I would have to say Chipper Jones was a baseball idol – that whole rotation they had with John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. I really enjoyed watching those guys play.

[Within our lineup], I don’t think there’s an easy out. Everyone brings something different to the table. Everyone’s got power. Everyone has an approach and a game plan with each different pitch. Everyone can hurt you in this lineup.

[Before I got here], I didn’t get a chance to see [the Rockies] a lot; I don’t think some of these guys have gotten the credit they deserve.

We’ve got a good team. I don’t think I can point to one thing in particular. Our lineup has been great. Our defense has been stellar. Our bullpen has, for the most part, held leads when we’ve gotten the call. Our starting pitching has exceeded my expectations.

Not getting to see them, I had no idea who Antonio Senzatela or Kyle Freeland were. I just knew they were young, good arms; Jeff Hoffman, all those guys. To see those guys at a young age facing pros with runners on base, you can learn that over time, but it’s also something you’re kind of born with. And it seems like they all have the ability to do that.

For all of us [on the pitching staff], we communicate really well with each other; we respect each other and what we bring to the table. So we all kind of throw ideas off of each other on how to get hitters out. It’s a really professional group as far as getting their work in. Everyone’s in the training room everyday making sure they’re ready to go. Everyone’s in the weight room every day preparing their bodies, in the video room preparing their minds. We all kind of feed off each other’s energy. We keep it light, but when it comes crunch time, everyone kind of goes into their own routine mentally preparing. That’s something I think a good bullpen has to have.

Any time somebody is paying you to do a job, you want to be able to do it to the best of your ability – that’s in any profession. I just try to go out there and be as good as I can be.