New York Yankees: Jonathon Holder is Due to Bounce Back

Ryan Garcia
May 16, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Jonathan Holder (65) pitches against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Yankees won 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

There was nothing more infuriating in 2019 out of the bullpen than watching Jonathon Holder come into a bad situation and pour gas on the fire. He gave up grand slams to the Orioles, got lit up by anyone who he faced, and most New York Yankees fans hate him. Sometimes when you hate a player, you look to blame everything on that player, even things that aren’t fair. Let’s be objective with Jonathan Holder, who is better than you think.

Peripherals Show Upside

Jonathan Holder’s ERA shouldn’t be the only stat you look at, according to Fangraphs Jonathan Holder has a FIP of 4.45, xFIP of 4.43, and SIERA of 3.74. According to Baseball Savant, he had a 3.78 xERA, which shows that his 6.00+ ERA is misleading as he got very unlucky in 2019. He had a K/9 of 10.02, BB/9 of 2.40, but what did him it was a 1.7 HR/9 with a 1.31 WHIP meant he would give up a lot of longballs with runners on. If the peripherals show anything, it’s that he was a lot better than the ERA shows in 2019.

Good Track Record

In 2018 Jonathan Holder was fantastic with a 3.18 ERA and 3.04 FIP, though his xFIP and SIERA were higher than his 2019 metrics. This is most likely due to fewer strikeouts in 2018 because he had an xERA of 3.52 and teams only had a .255 wOBA against Holder. He was flat out great over 66.1 innings and he’s only 26 years old. He can easily be somewhat decent in 2020 with the prior season being a fantastic one that he can replicate.

Deja Vu For Yankee Bullpen

The New York Yankees saw RHP Tommy Kahnle get shredded in 2018 while Holder flourished, but in 2019 Kahnle was a reliable reliever who was amazing in his campaign. There is hope for the Yankees righty to follow suit and bounce back after a rough 2019. He showed some promise post-all star break wherein 5.2 innings he had a 3.18 ERA and 0.53 WHIP. There is hope for him, and Yankee fans can’t say a reliever can’t bounce back after a horrific season.

 What To Expect From Holder

There is a lot of upside in this righty, and I expect a lot from him in terms of progression in 2020. I say that he could heavily help the Yankees postseason efforts as he tries to find his stride again and win a spot in that bullpen.

Adjusting for a 100 game season Jonathon Holder could put up stats like these:

35 IP
3.55 ERA
3.40 FIP
3.55 xFIP
45 SO
1.18 WHIP

Do you believe in Jonathan Holder in 2020 or will he flop again?