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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.

Jacoby Ellsbury finally activated from DL

Jacoby Ellsbury has been extra careful in dealing with his concussion since slamming into the wall on first play of a game against the Royals on May 24. Ellsbury also suffered a sprained neck, but his concussion sent him to the seven-day DL, and after a couple of setbacks where his headaches were gone one day, and back the next, it is finally official that Ellsbury will return Monday night in Chicago.
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The Yankee center fielder was hitting .281/.349/.422 with four home runs and eight stolen bases in 39 games prior to his injury. The Yankees sent him on a short two-game rehab stint in Scranton where he went 3-for-8 with two doubles. He played centerfield in the first game, and DH in the second.

Despite being injury prone throughout his career, Ellsbury told the New York Post he does not plan on changing his play style in light of his recent injury.

“I made a lot of them all the time and I play to win and play hard,” Ellsbury said. “If the ball is in the air I will try to catch it.”

The Yankees have activated Ellsbury in response to the Aaron Hicks injury. Before the Hicks oblique injury that has landed him on the DL, the Yankee outfield had not missed a beat with Aaron Judge playing at an MVP pace, with Hicks and Gardner making strong cases to play in the All-Star game.

With Hicks out until the All-Star break at the earliest, Ellsbury will likely play every day in centerfield for the foreseeable future.

Article by: Chad Raines