Blue Jays: 5 RH relief pitchers to consider in free agency
Oct 18, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Tyler Clippard throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the 8th inning in game two of the NLCS at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler Clippard (30)
2015: 71.0 IP, 2.92 ERA
Like Soria, Clippard will be commanding a multi-year deal with an opportunity at an eighth or ninth inning role this offseason. After a string of highly successful seasons with the Washington Nationals franchise, Clippard was dealt to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Yunel Escobar this past January then flipped to the New York Mets mid-season.
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He’s not coming off his finest season, however, and did himself no favors on the grand playoff stage. Clippard also saw his K/9 turn downwards in 2015, hitting 8.1 after that number rested above 10.0 in five of his six prior seasons. Clippard is primarily a fastball and chcngeup pitcher, topping out around 93 MPH.
Fly balls may plague him the odd time, but his arm has the talent to work in any environment. If Clippard is going to exist with a dipped strikeout total, however, he’ll need to improve upon his career average of 3.7 BB/9. That’s easy to overlook with a back-end arm that strikes out more than a batter an inning, but control issues could be risky in the closer’s role.
Clippard will surely seek out an opportunity to close ballgames first and foremost. That’s where the money is, and he did record 32 saves in 2012 with the Nationals. He’s an arm I’d prefer to keep in a setup role as part of a great bullpen, but if Toronto has the need following their other pitching moves, he’s a name the club will be linked to.
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