Is it time for Orioles to give Jackson Holliday the Colton Cowser treatment?

Are Holliday's early struggles that alarming?
Jackson Holliday batting at Camden Yards against the Minnesota Twins
Jackson Holliday batting at Camden Yards against the Minnesota Twins / G Fiume/GettyImages

Not long ago, Colton Cowser was in Jackson Holliday's shoes. He was called up to the majors in July 2023 and was expected to make an instant impact. However, he fell short of expectations, and was ultimately demoted after being up for about a month.

Albeit, Cowser got a much bigger sample size than Holliday has had so far (26 games for Cowser to Holliday's seven), but he never really approached his proper form last season. He had two five-game hitless streaks and had a slugging percentage below .150, which got him sent back down to the Tides before a 40-man roster September call-up.

Now, Holliday is in a similar boat already. Through seven games, he has one hit, a negative WAR and an OPS-plus of -64. He has also struck out 14 times in 26 plate appearances, and his only bright spot is that he has scored four runs, meaning that when he does reach base, his teammates are picking him up. And this all begs the question: should he get sent back down to the minors for a bit of a confidence boost?

Should Orioles' Jackson Holliday be demoted to minors?

The short answer is yes. While Holliday has not had much of a chance to prove himself yet, getting out of this slump quickly is going to be the best bet for him moving forward. And the best way to do that might be by sending him back down to Triple-A, where he is more accustomed to raking during the regular season.

The fact of the matter is, Holliday had so much pressure weighing on his shoulders when he got the call-up, overwhelmed by a plethora of social media posts from numerous major baseball outlets and beyond. And now that he is seven games in with one hit in total, the overreactions are pouring in. He is catching flack, and one can only imagine how much the negative media is getting to his head, to go along with his struggling start already messing with his mental game.

At the end of the day, if the Orioles are not careful, they could wind up having a problem on their hands. While a prospect of Holliday's caliber can and should be expected to deliver right away, an immediate slump can get to his head real quick and deter his confidence. Holliday is an extremely young player with a potentially long career ahead of him, and a quick recalibration in the minor leagues could be all he needs. It has worked so far for Cowser this year (knock on wood), so hopefully it could work wonders for baseball's top prospect.

And yes, the Orioles could stick with him and hope Holliday finds his stride soon, which would be the best case scenario. But, after calling him up so early into the season, maybe sending him back down and waiting on their coveted prospect a little bit longer would be their best bet and the way to helping ensure Holliday has the Rookie of the Year-esque season so many expected.

Who knows, though? Hopefully Holliday will prove me wrong.