Yankee All-Stars Nestor Cortes, Clay Holmes And Jose Trevino Highlight Magical First Half

When the All-Star rosters were revealed Sunday, there were plenty of familiar names such as Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge along with Giancarlo Stanton.

Within the group of six Yankees headed to next week’s midsummer classic in Los Angeles were three names whose stories are remarkable when it is contrasted to where Nestor Cortes, Clay Holmes and Jose Trevino were a year ago in their careers.

Perhaps it is best conveyed in the way the Yankees filmed Cortes, Holmes and Trevino finding out they were officially All-Stars.

In the 75-second clip of Cortes sitting on a couch in Fenway Park, it starts with Boone telling him the left-hander is going start Thursday. Then he reminds Cortes of a chat they had in spring training about the crafty left-hander becoming an All-Star before telling him he is headed to Los Angeles. Boone then says, “the legend of Nestor Cortes rolls on the Hollywood” before telling him how deserving he is.

In the 82-second clip of Holmes, Boone starts by telling him to take a seat on the couch. Then he tells Holmes “the most dominant reliever in the sport is going to LA.” Holmes then tells Boone he is appreciative, and Boone says he’s an All-Star for the rest of his life before telling him to start making travel plans. Towards the end of the video, Holmes describes it as pretty cool.

Perhaps the 100-second clip of Trevino is most touching. While in his workout gear, Trevino hears Boone open with “I know you’re all about winning a championship” before saying one of the reasons we’re in this position is because of him. Then he says there’s a little break in the championship run next week so Trevino could go to LA next week. Trevino then puts his hands in his face while Boone tells him “you 100 percent deserve this”.

And these stories are as noteworthy as the trio of Yankee stars making the trip.

A year ago, at this time, Cortes was in the early stages of ascent into the Yankee rotation but still not necessarily entrusted the give the Yankees significant length. His made his first start in the second game of a doubleheader against the Mets on July 4 following an epic collapse in the first game and then pitched 4 2/3 innings in a 4-0 win at Houston in a series that ended two days later with another blown lead.

Cortes then didn’t make his next start until July 28, but he remained in the rotation and gradually gave the Yankees more length, completing six innings Aug. 15 in the second game of a 13-game winning streak and then finishing seven innings Aug. 20 against Minnesota.

This year has been even more remarkable for the former 36th-round pick in 2013. For a while Cortes headed the AL ERA race and although he has dropped to eighth entering Sunday, he has provided the Yankees will plenty of thrills.

Among them was coming within five outs of a no-hitter May 9 against Texas and then admitting he spent part of the offseason discussing his role on the team with pitching coach Matt Blake. The Yankees held a different view as Boone said following Cortes’ flirtation with history that “he was guaranteed a spot in my rotation.”

Cortes ultimately made it through 19 straight starts of allowing three runs or less, one shy of the longest streak in team history.

As for Holmes, last year at this time he was coming off an appearance where he allowed a single in the sixth inning to Billy McKinney in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 loss to the Mets and that appearance gave Holmes a 4.42 ERA. Ten days later, Holmes four runs to turn a 5-3 lead into an 11-5 deficit in Arizona and give him a 5.13 ERA. Four days later, Holmes held a 4.93 ERA after a scoreless appearance at San Francisco and two days later he was headed to the Yankees.

Getting Holmes was the first of five trades the Yankees made in the period around the trade deadline. It was a deadline that saw the Yankees add left-handed hitters Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo along with Andrew Heaney for rotation depth that never really panned out.

Along with the Rizzo deal, getting Holmes proved to be the best trade made last year. He was eased in by appearing in a 14-0 loss at Tampa Bay in his debut but quickly drew higher leverage situations and proved up the challenge holding excelling in all different situations.

This season has proven to be a whole new and dominant ballgame for Holmes, who despite blowing a 3-2 lead Saturday is high up among the various Statcast leaderboards with things like one barrel in 98 batted balls, an 82.7 percent ground ball rate (up from 68.5 percent last season) and a sinker that averages 96.9 miles per hour.

As for Trevino, his acquisition can be described as unheralded. The Yankees obtained him on April 2 mostly because they needed a catcher when Ben Rortvedt got injured shortly after being acquired that sent Gary Sanchez to Minnesota.

Trevino was sent to the Yankees with a .245 career batting average. Now it is up to .248 by virtue of his .255 showing this season that has seen get two memorable walk-off hits on significant days for him. His first was May 24 to beat Baltimore on what would have been his father’s 69th birthday and the other was June 10 to beat the Cubs in the 13th inning on a same day as his son’s fourth birthday.

The Yankees are authoring a storybook campaign despite some segment of the population such as an occasional caller to WFAN seemingly not being able to enjoy it and the ascension of Cortes, Holmes and Trevino is all part of the magical ride of an extremely impressive first half.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryfleisher/2022/07/10/yankee-all-stars-nestor-cortes-clay-holmes-and-jose-trevino-highlight-magical-first-half/