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Jonathan Holder has a realistic shot of making the All-Star team

Middle relievers have only recently started receiving universal recognition for their individual performance in Major League Baseball, due to the new age of numbers in the sport. Saves are no longer the all-telling, ultimate stat about a reliever’s success and WAR, ERA+, and other metrics have opened the eyes of fans on just how valuable it is for a team to have dominant relievers outside of the ninth inning role. Their widely agreed on importance has led to a lot of non-closer relievers making the All-Star team in recent seasons. The American League squad had two of them in 2017 and 2015, and a whopping four in 2016. If this trend continues, the AL should feature at least one or two non-closer relievers, and possibly more, with the scarcity of lockdown closers in the AL in 2018. The Yankees feature a lot of highly talented middle relievers and the pitcher who has surprised everyone the most, Jonathan Holder, has a very realistic shot of cracking the AL All-Star squad.

Why we should not expect much from Alex Rodriguez

By: Alex Reina

The one question on millions of Yankees fan's minds is what to expect from Alex Rodriguez in the upcoming season.
A-Rod, who is 46 homers shy of 700, is returning from a yearlong suspension for violation of the MLB's Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) Policy. He also recently had another hip surgery, and is approaching the age of 40 (he turns 40 July 27).

Rodriguez hasn't played over 140 games since 2007 when he played 157. From 2011-2013 he's played 265 out of the 486 games, which is just barely over 50%. In the past he has had hip, calf, and knee problems, all which could reoccur.

Not many players who have played past the age of 40 have been very productive. Take Derek Jeter for example. Jeter sported a .256 batting average, much lower than is career average of .310. A-Rod, who carries a .299 career batting average, hit just .244 in his injury and suspension shortened 2013 campaign. Raul Ibanez is another player who tried to play after the age of 40. After he turned 40, Ibanez played 130 games (40), 124 games (41), and 90 games (42). He was turned from an everyday player to just a platoon player.

Factoring in his age and his history of injury, A-Rod is going to be a utility and platoon player at best where he is likely to see a little time at third base, first base and designated hitter. Brian Cashman seems to think so, as he went out and signed Chase Headly to a 4 year, $50 million deal, and traded for Garret Jones, who has experience as a DH. And don't forget about Beltran, who may still have elbow problems and need to DH.

Only time will tell what A-Rod will be able to give this team, but it seems that Yankees management and fans everywhere aren't expecting much from him, and their expectations aren't unwarranted.




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