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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.

Aroldis Chapman scheduled to throw simulated outing Saturday, hopes to return June 16

The Yankees have been without flame throwing closer Aroldis Chapman since May 14th when he was placed on the Disabled List with inflammation in the rotator cuff  of his left shoulder. Brian Cashman announced at the time that Chapman would likely be out around a month. In Chapman's absence Dellin Betances has taken over as the closer and other roles in the bullpen have had to be juggled as well. In just a matter of days however, the Yankees bullpen may be returning to normal.
Photo Credit: AP

The Yankees announced Friday afternoon that Chapman was heading to Tampa and will throw a simulated relief outing on Saturday. Chapman told reporters Tuesday night that as long as there were no setbacks he would likely head out for a minor league rehab assignment following the simulated outing.  The Yankees' goal is for Chapman to return to the team next Friday June 16th in Oakland. For the season, the Yankees 29 year old closer has a 3.55 ERA with seven saves and 21 strikeouts in 12.2 IP.

Article by: Matt Graziano