Yankees: The remarkable turnaround of reliever Jonathan Holder

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Jonathan Holder #56 of the New York Yankees reacts in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Jonathan Holder #56 of the New York Yankees reacts in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Jonathan Holder’s 2.1 innings of scoreless relief was a key component to the Yankees 7-5 come from behind victory versus the Mariners on Wednesday. It’s about time he gets such much-deserved credit.

Yes, Gary Sanchez hit a two-run homer to tie up Wednesday night’s affair with the Mariners. And Giancarlo Stanton finally had his defining Yankees moment, swatting a two-out, 0-2 count, two-run, bottom of the ninth blast to seal the victory.

However, it was Jonathan Holder, who entered the game in the sixth inning, when the Yanks were still down 5-2, that made it all possible.

During his 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, Holder was stellar — allowing no hits and no walks while striking out two before turning the game over to Aroldis Chapman for the win. Of Holder’s 32 pitches, 20 were for strikes.

Holder did little to inspire confidence in his first three appearances this season, allowing six earned run on seven hits in just 2.2 innings of work before being returned to the minors.

More from Yankees News

But something happened while he was down at Triple-A Scranton. Holder began working on a slider to complement his 93-mph four-seamer, 86-mph changeup and 87-mph cutter. Holder does have a curveball in his repertoire but has only used it 19 times this season.

Since being recalled on April 21, the 25-year-old Holder has played the part of 2017 Chad Green.

In 22 innings, the 2014 sixth-round draft pick has a 2.00 ERA, a minuscule 0.741 WHIP and a 27:4 K:BB ratio. Having allowed just 16 hits and one home run in total, Holder is now a pivotal piece to manager Aaron Boone’s bullpen, as he recently told The New York Post.

"“He’s been terrific,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s earned everything he’s gotten this year, [from] making our team to getting sent down to kind of being one of the last guys in the pen now, to earning more and more high leverage opportunities.”"

Next: Would Yankees trade Domingo German for an ace?

With renewed confidence and the stats to back it up, there’s no reason to think we’ll get anything but the very best from Jonathan Holder.