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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Tyler Clippard

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Clippard is a 33-year-old right-handed reliever we signed, back in March, to a minor league contract.

He’s played in the majors for 11 seasons, for 7 different teams. Most of his career has been spent with the Nationals (7 years) and Yankees (3 years). He’s had the odd moment as closer, picking up 32 saves for the Nationals back in 2012, but mostly he’s been a setup man.

Tyler is a fly ball pitcher. He gives up his share of home runs, but he gets far more than his share of popups. He beats out his FIP almost every season. Career he has a 3.85 FIP, but a 3.11 ERA. It causes his fWAR (7.1 career), to be much lower than his bWAR (12.3 career).

He also walks more batters than you would like.

Like most pitchers heading into their mid-30s, he’s lost a little on his fastball. Back in 2012 he averaged 92.8 MPH on his fastball, last year he averaged 91.1 on his fastball. And, likely not coincidentally, he has been throwing his fastball less (59.5% of the time in 2013, 38.0% of the time last year). He threw changeups and a split-finger pitch (which is pretty much a change up at 81 MPH) more than half the time last year.

He had a pretty good spring training, 7 innings, 4 hits, 3 earned, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts. The big number was 2 home runs. And, of course, he gave up a home run in his first appearance this year (but then it was Giancarlo Stanton, he’s going to hit home runs off a lot of pitchers in his career).

I figured he would start the season in Buffalo, but the Jays liked him more than I did. I thought he would have to prove himself, but maybe they thought/knew he wouldn’t take the demotion.

He would be a little more valuable if we could use him as a 2 inning reliever (on occasion), but I see that he only went 2 innings once last year and he only pitched more than an inning 6 times. I hate us rolling out 3 relievers every time a starter gets pulled after 6 innings. I use the line the more relievers you use the more likely you are to hit on the one that just doesn’t have it that day. I’m a believer in if a reliever is pitching well, leave him out there. But, it seems that baseball has gone a different way.

PECOTA isn’t very optimistic about Clippard, it figured him for a 4.81 ERA in just 13 innings. I’m pretty sure he’ll beat the 13 innings. ZiPS is much more optimistic, 4.12 ERA in 56 innings.


If the over/under on Clippard’s ERA is 4.00 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    (151 votes)
  • 60%
    (227 votes)
378 votes total Vote Now


If the over/under on Clippard innings pitched is 45 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    (200 votes)
  • 36%
    (117 votes)
317 votes total Vote Now