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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.

Secondary Reaction: Yankees acquire Aroldis Chapman

Have you heard? Some Cuban flamethrower has been traded to the Yankees for four minor leaguers. In what was a wildly unexpected afternoon, Aroldis Chapman has landed with the New York Yankees, hopefully leaving his handgun in Florida.

Quite frankly, Aroldis Chapman is one of the best relievers in all of baseball. He’s made the all-star game four straight years, and has had at least 33 saves in each of those seasons. In 2015, Chapman had the highest strikeout percentage in baseball at 46-percent. Second and third you ask? Chapman’s new teammates, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.

There’s no denying how dominant the back-end of the Yankees bullpen can, and probably will be. My guess is the seventh and eighth innings will be pitched by Betances and Miller. Hopefully, neither has a set inning and Girardi will check his binder and pitch them based on matchups. Chapman is the closer on opening day if he’s not suspended, it’s a no-brainer.

I’m personally upset with the Yankees organization for acquiring Chapman. Obviously the talent is there, but we see what kind of person is coming to the Yanks. Will he be suspended? Most likely. What’s to say he figures it out? He’s coming to the city that never sleeps. It doesn’t seem like the smartest thing the Yankees have done from a non-baseball standpoint. Domestic violence is serious and should not be taken lightly just because he’s a professional athlete. At no point should winning take precedent over domestic violence.

From purely a baseball standpoint, Brian Cashman is a genius. The best two prospects the Yankees gave up was pitcher Rookie Davis and third-baseman Eric Jagielo. Davis was the key piece to the deal. Davis had a solid year in Triple-A just last season. He has a plus fastball, but needs to develop his other pitches more. The Reds just traded their third baseman, Todd Frazier, so Jagielo could end being a long-term solution. The other two prospects in the deal were Caleb Cotham, who made appearances out of the Yankees bullpen in 2015, and infielder Tony Renda.

The Yankees have already gone through an excruciatingly long and annoying process with Alex Rodriguez over the last couple of seasons. Bringing in Chapman is just going to rekindle all of the negative backlash the Yankees organization has received. It’s not the best look for the organization as a whole. He may help the team win a championship, I’m fully aware of that. I just don’t look forward to rooting on someone’s who’s simply not a good person.

Article by: James Grande
Follow me on Twitter: @The_Real_Grande
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