Yankees Making a Mistake By Not Calling Up Jonathan Holder in September


Dominant Triple-A reliever Jonathan Holder will not be among those promoted by the New York Yankees in September despite his jaw-dropping numbers.

23-year-old Jonathan Holder has emerged as one of the most exciting arms in the New York Yankees minor league system in 2016, pitching to a 1.65 ERA in 65.1 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A and striking out 13.9 batters per nine.

Since his promotion to Scranton Wilkes-Barre in mid-July, he has kicked his already impressive performance into a higher gear, striking out more than half the opposing hitters he’s faced (51.5% in 12 outings) and allowing just two earned runs in 20.1 IP.

His latest outing for the Railriders though is really what should make the Yankees sit up and take notice. Holder came into the sixth inning Sunday with a 3-1 lead and a chance to clinch a playoff spot for his club.

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He proceeded to strike out the first 11 batters he faced. He totaled 12 Ks overall on the night, allowing just one single in the ninth to former Yankees backup catcher John Ryan Murphy. In total he provided the Railriders with four nearly-immaculate innings of relief. It was one of the most incredible pitching performances I’ve seen this year.

Unfortunately, it sounds like Yankees fans won’t get a chance to see Holder put on a show in the Bronx this season. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that New York’s top Triple-A reliever will not be among those getting the call to the big leagues in September.

The Yankees currently have a full 40 man roster and a number of prospects who will be Rule 5 eligible following the season. Because of that, several of the most exciting players in the organization, such as Holder, Clint Frazier, and Chance Adams, will have to wait until 2017 to make their MLB debuts. 

The latter two omissions are understandable, with Frazier on the disabled list and Adams reportedly up against his innings limit in his first year as a starter. Holder however could shore up the major league club’s biggest area of weakness as they push for a playoff spot.

Holder worked as a starter just last season, throwing 118 innings between three levels, so it doesn’t seem like his workload should be a major concern for the team.

With plenty of dead wood on the Yankees roster (I’m looking at you Kirby Yates and Richard Bleier), it seems like the team could finagle a way to make room for Holder and still keep all of their top guys after the season if they really wanted to.

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Instead, we will have to settle for guys like James Pazos and Nick Goody, who have already shown their limited utility this season