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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.

Who will be playing second base for the Yankees in 2018?

It’s really hard to type when your hands are shaking from excitement. Maybe even hyperventilation.
 
Photo Credit: Newsday
The Yankees have acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. The prospect load isn’t overwhelming, but the Marlins have acquired all-star second baseman Starlin Castro.

So, this leaves a gaping hole at second base right?

Not exactly. The Yankees are obviously very excited about their number one prospect in all of baseball in Gleyber Torres. Hurt for most of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery in his non-throwing arm, Torres promises to have an all-star caliber career for the Yankees. Moving Castro could simply be making room for Torres to start at second base heading into the 2018 season. 

If Torres is going to start for the Yankees at second base, he’s going to have to prove his worth in Spring Training. However, he did in 2017. He hit .448 with six doubles, a triple, two homers and nine RBI in 19 games.

Torres’ time is now, but the Yankees do have other options, and that includes a guy with just a one more letter in his last name. Ronald Torreyes, one of the Yankees unsung heroes in 2017, is more than capable of holding down a starting position. 
 
Photo Credit: Getty
Torreyes entered 2017 as a starter for Gregorius as shortstop, and played exceptionally well. He doesn't add much power to the lineup, but clearly that is not needed for the Yankees, who led the AL in homers in 2017. In 108 games, Torreyes hit .292. As a starter in the beginning of the season, he hit over .300.

Are the Yankees looking at Torreyes as a long term second baseman? Of course not. However, he’s a fantastic platoon player. I think it’s fairly obvious that the Yankees are making room for Torres to take over second base. The plan was for Torres to be the “shortstop of the future”, but the future is now for the Yankees and Didi Gregorius has emerged as one of the top shortstops in all of baseball. 

Another option the Yankees have at second base in 2018 is Tyler Wade. Although Wade struggled in 2017, he has promising tools to be a good player in the Major Leagues. He's a very good defensive player and has a lot of speed, which is something the Yankees lack in their lineup. I don't think the Yankees would favor Wade over Torreyes or Torres, but it's always good to have a plan C. 
 
Photo Credit: Getty

Whoever plays second base for the Yankees, it's going to be a lot of fun to watch this offense go to work.

Article by: Noah Clement 


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