Holmes was sent to the IL on Aug. 17 with New York in the midst of a slump. He had felt tightness in his back the day before, and told reporters that an IL stint was likely.
"I have stuff going on with my back and trying to figure out the best way to go about it is," Holmes said at the time.
Holmes said his back, at first, felt like it "locked up" while he was playing catch before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"Felt like it was the smartest thing, to give it a break and try to play it smart and not try to push through something where it could be a lot worse than where it's at," Holmes said.
Holmes, 29, has grown into one of the more reliable arms in the Yankees bullpen, especially with former closer Aroldis Chapman laboring through a roller coaster season.
"It's definitely frustrating to deal with at this moment," Holmes said at the time of the IL announcement. "Just for the fact that's kind of where we're at, but I think this is probably the smartest move. I think there's definitely going to be another guy that can step up and I believe whoever it is we have full trust. I think we play our best baseball when we need to."
Chapman was sent to the IL for a second time this season on Saturday, and the Yankees were short a reliever until the Holmes activation.
Holmes was one of the best relievers in baseball through the first half of the season, putting up a 1.37 ERA and a 2.00 FIP through 39 games and 39 innings pitched, earning an appearance in the All-Star Game after taking over as the closer when Chapman went on the injured list the first time this season.
Things have gone south as of late for Holmes. Since July 12, Holmes has appeared in 11 games, posting a 10.24 ERA, allowing 11 runs in 9 innings pitched while striking out 11 and allowing 10 walks.
Also on Monday, the Yankees placed infielder/outfielder Marwin Gonzalez on the paternity list and recalled outfielder Tim Locastro from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.