Jonathan Holder’s calamitous relief appearance Monday night nearly cost the Yankees the game and prompted his demotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The question that remained as the Yankees left the Stadium after a 10-8 win over Toronto is whether Holder’s dismal showing will have a ripple effect on Tuesday’s game.
Chad Green was expected to start that game, reprising the opener role that he has thrived in recently. The Yankees have used the tactic — having a reliever pitch an inning or two at the start of a game — six times because injuries have them operating with only four starters, and they have gone 6-0 in those games. But because of Holder’s ineffectiveness, Green had to throw 16 pitches to four batters in the eighth Monday night.
Holder came into a 10-2 game, faced five batters and got none of them out. The last pitch he threw turned into a grand slam by Freddy Galvis that made the score 10-7, and Aaron Boone had to turn to Green and Adam Ottavino to get through the inning.
In Holder’s last six outings, he has allowed multiple runs four times, surrendered six home runs and given up 13 runs and 13 hits in 5 1⁄3 innings.
He called Monday’s outing “embarrassing” and added, “I’m definitely a better pitcher than that. There’s no lack of effort. I’ve continuously worked . . . I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to figure something out to . . . make nights like this not happen.”
When asked about a starting pitcher for Tuesday, Boone shook his head and said, “We’ll have to talk about that.” Green still could get the call because he didn’t throw many pitches.
In his last three outings as an opener, he has pitched two scoreless innings in each and recorded 12 strikeouts.
This could be the last time the Yankees need to use the strategy. Domingo German is expected to return to the rotation before the July 8 All-Star break and the team won’t need a fifth starter again for at least a week because of the three off days surrounding their two games against Boston in London.
German, who was the team’s best starter for the first six weeks of the season, is pain-free after going on the injured list with a hip flexor strain. He threw a bullpen session Monday that could take him a step closer to a minor-league rehab assignment. German could make a minor-league rehab start and get back for either the series with the Mets at Citi Field or the ensuing one against the Rays in Florida before the break.
“At some point we’ll get back to a fifth starter when German gets back in there,” Boone said. “And obviously [that] bolsters your bullpen more on a daily basis, but we feel like we have the personnel capable of thriving when we need to use that.”
Tanaka to start in London. Boone said Masahiro Tanaka will start Saturday against Boston in London and James Paxton will start the first game of the Subway Series next week. He hadn’t decided who — likely J.A. Happ or CC Sabathia — will start Sunday . . . Deivi Garcia, Domingo Acevedo and Daniel Alvarez combined to pitch a no-hitter for Double-A Trenton on Monday night in a 7-0 win over Reading. Garcia pitched the first five innings and Acevedo and Alvarez followed with two innings apiece . . . Aaron Judge had a scheduled day off Monday as the Yankees are “building him up,” as Boone put it, after coming back Friday after a two-month stint on the injured list . . . Edwin Encarnacion also was given a scheduled day off Monday.