May 19, 2024

Baltimore Orioles General Manager Mike Elias provided insight into the decision to demote Jackson Holliday back to Triple-A. Holliday’s call-up to the majors earlier this month was eagerly anticipated, given his strong performance in Spring Training and dominance in Triple-A games.

However, after just a few weeks in the big leagues, it became evident that Holliday was struggling to adjust. His performance was notably poor, with only two singles in his first 10 games and a batting line of .059/.111/.059. Elias acknowledged that Holliday appeared overmatched against MLB pitching, striking out in half of his plate appearances. As a result, the Orioles made the decision to send him back to Triple-A Norfolk for further development.

I feel responsible for that" - Orioles GM Mike Elias gets candid about Jackson  Holliday's demotion to Triple-A

Elias explained that while Holliday’s initial placement in Triple-A was debatable, the team wanted to capitalize on his impressive performance there (1.077 OPS) and provide him with an opportunity in the majors. However, seeing him struggle, Elias believes that Holliday would benefit more from refining his skills at Triple-A rather than trying to do so at the MLB level. Additionally, with several left-handed starting pitchers scheduled to face the Orioles soon, Holliday, a left-handed hitter, would likely have limited playing time in the majors.

Elias emphasized the importance of Holliday receiving specific feedback from major-league pitching and expressed confidence in Holliday’s ability to make adjustments quickly. At Triple-A, Holliday will have more playing time, opportunities to work on his swing, and chances to regain his confidence.

Given Holliday’s young age (20) and limited experience in professional baseball, Elias stressed the importance of patience in his development. With the Orioles performing well early in the season, there is no rush to rush Holliday’s progress and potentially hinder his growth.

Elias mentioned Colton Cowser as an example of a player who struggled initially but made adjustments and found success. He emphasized that setbacks are common for rookies, even former top draft picks like Holliday.

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