There is no player I like to watch more than Tyler Clippard. I don’t know if it’s the glasses or what, but he is just fun to watch.
2012 Projection (ZiPS): 7-3, 2.85 ERA, 72 games, 88.1 IP, 107 K, 35 BB
2012 Actual: 2-6, 32 saves, 3.72 ERA, 74 games, 72.2 IP, 84 K, 29 BB
Clippard was thrust into a closers role for most of the season to replace the injured and rehabbing Drew Storen. Due to that, he saw a little dip in his numbers compared to a year ago that saw him make the all-star team and had an ERA under 2. This season wasn’t all that bad for Clippard whose May, June and August were incredible but struggled in April, July and September/October. A lot of those inconsistencies were just due to more balls finding holes. His BABIP jumped considerably above average in those bad months and were back to normal in the good months. That isn’t the only thing to look for, but because BABIP tends to even out over the long run, there is a lot of reason to believe that he will bounce back. Consistency was the issue for Clippard who rebounded in time for the NLDS, allowing just one hit – a homerun – in three innings against the Cardinals.
Next season, with Storen healthy and back in the fold, Clippard will be settled down in that 8th inning set up role. The consistency should be able to help him bounce back from his up and down season and be an important part of this Nationals bullpen going forward with Storen and Ryan Mattheus.
Season Highlight: Clippard struck out the side four times this season and in one of those games, even managed to blow a save by giving up a hit and a walk around those strike outs. In one of the others, he gave up two hits – both home runs. Basically, the most interesting thing when I look at the game logs is the games where he was most un-hittable – with the most swinging strikes by opposing hitters – are the games that he was hit the hardest.
Chien Ming Wang