Yankees reliever ‘surprised’ to make All-Star roster

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, clay holmes, jose trevino
Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees, despite losing 16 of their last 22 games, are still comfortably ahead in the Wild Card standings and are within striking distance of the Baltimore Orioles (three games behind) in the AL East. Of course, when you realize they were leading their division with a large cushion a little over a month ago, you know how bad they have been playing in recent weeks.

Despite the horrible stretch of play, the Yankees sent three players to the 2024 MLB All-Star Game, to be played on July 16 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas: outfielders Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, and reliever Clay Holmes.

There weren’t going to be many doubts regarding the two sluggers: in fact, they have both been voted in to be starters in the American League outfield come the Midsummer Classic. Holmes, however, hasn’t been as sharp as he was earlier in the season and the pitcher himself had doubts about his selection.

“Clay Holmes said he was ‘a little surprised’ to make his 2nd All-Star team, but he’s proud to be representing the Yankees. ‘It’s something I don’t take lightly’,” Yankees insider Gary Phillips tweeted, with quotes from the Yanks’ closer.

The Yankees’ closer behind the numbers

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, clay holmes
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Holmes has a 3.00 ERA and an 8/37 BB/K ratio in 36 frames this season, saving 19 of the Yankees victories so far.

In 20 games from the start of the campaign to May 19, Holmes accumulated a perfect 0.00 ERA in 20 innings, with a 0.95 WHIP, just four walks, and 23 punchouts.

After that date, however, he has been a bit off, posting a 6.75 ERA in 16 frames with a 1.75 WHIP and 24 hits allowed over that span. Perhaps that’s why Holmes was a bit shocked he was selected, but what he did over his first 20 games also carries a lot of value.

He is not as good as he was in those 20 games, but he is also not as bad as his recent performance suggests. In the end, his solid ERA, consistently weak contact allowed, and impressive track record with the Yankees over the years ended up giving him the honor of representing the team in the Midsummer Classic.

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