Yankees finally demote struggling Jonathan Holder


In a long overdue move, the Yankees optioned reliever Jonathan Holder and his 6.81 ERA to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, following Monday’s abysmal performance.

Someone within the Yankees organization must really like Jonathan Holder for him to have stayed up with the major league team this long in 2019.

However, after entering in the eighth inning of Monday night’s game with a no-pressure 10-2 lead, Holder faced five batters without recording an out.

After just 19 pitches, he allowed five runs on five hits, including two home runs, one of which was a grand slam off the bat of Freddy Galvis. Luckily, the rest of the bullpen was able to steady the ship and hold onto the 10-8 victory.

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In his past six outings (5.1 innings), Holder has been especially bad, surrendering 13 hits and 13 earned runs — six of which have come via the long ball.

Postgame, Holder, detailed his frustration to Dan Martin of the New York Post.

"“It’s tough,’’ said Holder, who blamed a lack of fastball command for most of his problems. “I’ve never struggled like this. It’s something new for me. This whole season has been a grind for me and I’ve got to go figure something out with [pitching coach] Larry [Rothschild].’’"

Holder, 26, looked to be rounding into a major league reliever in 2018 when he pitched to a 3.14 ERA, 1.091 WHIP and 60:19 K:BB ratio across 66 innings (60 appearances).

From last May through July, Holder was excellent, touting a 1.00 ERA and 2.38 FIP. Unfortunately, this season has been one to forget for the 2014 sixth-round pick.

Among relievers that have tossed at least 30 innings, Holder ranks second-worst in the majors in ERA (6.81), sixth-worst in HR/9 (2.0) and 15th worst in FIP (4.05).

Though his 10.1 K/9 is a career-best and he does have five wins in six games that he’s finished, the Yankees will need him to rediscover his 2018 form if he’s to help the club this summer and into the early fall.

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Until then, left-hander Stephen Tarpley will assume Holder’s 25-man roster spot. Although Tarpley struggled in eight appearances earlier this season with the Yanks (8.53 ERA), he did succeed for the Triple-A RailRiders, compiling a 1.75 ERA and 9.8 K/9 in 25.2 innings (14 appearances).