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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 the Yankees Should Target Mike Olt

As we have known for some time, the Yankees don’t have a legitimate backup for Chase Headley at third base. Not only is there no backup, there is no legitimate candidate for the starting third base job in AAA. The White Sox just recently released former first round pick Mike Olt and here is why the Yankees should pick him up.
Photo Via ESPN

More Minor League Depth and a AAA Third Baseman
The Yankees AAA infield is quite thin so they obviously need quality players to fill those roles. Olt could fill in at third and first base when needed and can provide some pop as he hit nine home runs in 59 games for the Cubs AAA team last year. Having depth never hurts and Olt could fill that role.

Backup Third If Rob Refsnyder Can’t Stick
Refsnyder hasn’t gotten many compliments on his second base defense so it’s very possible that Refsnyder’s defense at third will not be glamorous as well. Refsnyder could end up banishing third all together or going to the minors to get more reps at third. I’m a huge Refsnyder fan and I believe from what I’ve seen that he could handle the backup third base job, but if for some reason he can’t, Olt could step into that role just fine.  

An Injury Occurs
Because it’s baseball, injuries occur all the time and if Headley went down with a long term injury we would be left with no one with a lot of third base experience who could step into the everyday role for the time being. Olt currently has 611 MLB innings at third base so he has experience. While I would prefer a better option to start at third base if such an injury did occur, the Yankees could stick the 27-year-old into the position until they could find a better option.

While Olt has really struggled in the Major Leagues (.168 AVG 16 HR in 352 career at bats), but Olt never the less does have MLB experience. While Olt isn’t the best option for a team, he could still provide solid depth and fill in holes down in the minor leagues.

Article by: Julian Bussells
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