'A huge honor' for Holmes to join Judge, Soto in ASG

July 7th, 2024

NEW YORK -- has had the privilege of watching two of the game’s top performers each day this season, observing from the bullpen as and have partnered to power the Yankees’ offense. Now, he will join his teammates at the All-Star Game.

Holmes is an American League All-Star for the second time, as announced on Sunday evening. The Yankees closer will be part of the Junior Circuit’s bullpen for the July 16 festivities at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

“I’m excited,” Holmes said. “This place means a lot to me -- the organization, teammates and coaches, all the people here. To be able to represent all the guys here, it’s something I don’t take lightly. It’s a huge honor, and I’m super grateful for this opportunity.”

It is the second career All-Star nod for the 31-year-old Holmes, who entered play on Sunday having converted 19 of 24 save opportunities this season. He owns a 3.00 ERA across 37 appearances. In 36 innings, Holmes has permitted 16 runs (12 earned) and 39 hits, with 37 strikeouts against just eight walks.

Two days after surrendering a game-tying two-run homer to Red Sox designated hitter Masataka Yoshida, Holmes acknowledged that he was “probably a little surprised” to be named an All-Star. He’d been entertaining spending the break on a beach or in Nashville.

“All-Star Games are a hard thing to make,” Holmes said. “I don’t think you can ever fully expect it. I wasn’t coming in with a 0.00 ERA.”

Holmes’ 66.7 percent ground ball percentage ranked fourth highest among Major League relievers entering play on Sunday (third in the AL). He has reached double digits in saves for the third time in his career, previously notching 20 saves in 2022 and 24 saves last season.

“I always knew that I could be a good pitcher and had the tools to do it,” Holmes said.

Judge secured an automatic starting nod on June 28, when it was announced that he had received 3,425,309 votes in Phase One of All-Star voting, leading all Major Leaguers. This will be Judge’s sixth career All-Star Game (also 2017, ’18, ’21, ’22 and ’23).

Soto received his fourth consecutive All-Star nod when he was voted one of the AL’s starting outfielders, receiving 449,442 votes in Phase Two. The Guardians’ Steven Kwan is the other AL outfielder. This marks Soto’s first turn as an All-Star starter.

“They’ve been incredible,” Holmes said. “We knew the players they are and what they could do, but I think them doing it, and probably more than what you could expect -- it’s not easy. You want to take it for granted because of who they are and what they’ve done, but it takes showing up every day, preparing every day.

“Stuff doesn’t just happen. I think just seeing how they work and how committed they are to this team and winning, it’s impressive. It rubs off on everybody here.”

Holmes thoroughly enjoyed his previous All-Star experience in 2022, especially the chance to chat with superstars from across the league in the clubhouse. Those days went by swiftly, and Holmes said he hopes to savor this trip more.

“It’s definitely fast, and you’re always kind of wondering where you should be and what you should be doing,” Holmes said. “Soaking it in, I think a lot of that is being present with the people around you.”