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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.

Yankees showing interest in lefty Derek Holland

Photo Credit: Joe Nicholson | USA TODAY Sports
The New York Yankees joined the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates as the three teams who have contacted left handed starter Derek Holland about acquiring his services according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. The Texas Rangers had recently declined the 30-year-old’s $11 million team option for 2017, effectively making him a free agent.

Holland battled a shoulder injury in 2016 that limited him to just 16 starts, where he went 7-9 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Holland struck out just 67 batters in 107.1 innings pitched. As an opposing starter in Yankee Stadium, Holland has not been greeted kindly by the Yankees, going 1-3 with a 5.97 ERA in six appearances, five of them being starts.

Holland comes as a buy-low candidate that could find in at the back-end of the Yankees rotation, where he’d likely become the team’s fourth or fifth starter. Holland has been up and down with injuries, but has proven to be a very serviceable starter when healthy, such as in 2011 where he went 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA and a league-leading four shutouts. In two seasons where he’s tossed over 195 innings (2011 and 2013), he’s also had a sub-4.00 ERA (3.95 and 3.42).

With the Yankees in need of adding pitching due to Nathan Eovaldi being set to miss the entire 2017 campaign, it is expected that the Yankees will go out and add a starting pitcher or two. Holland may be a solid and cheap option on the free agent market for the team. The team could likely bring him on with a one or two-year deal.

Article by: Chad Raines
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