Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Sam Clay enters from the bullpen and abruptly loads the bases without recording an out. If you are a Washington Nationals fan, the series finale against the Atlanta Braves was not the first time you’ve seen that scenario.
While it ended well this go around, with Mason Thompson helping get Clay off the hook, it hasn’t ended well in the past. What more do the Nationals need to see from Clay? Time to move on.
Clay was assigned to Triple-A Rochester in early August, only to be recalled in late August. In the eight games he’s appeared in since, he has only three perfect appearances.
Clay appeared in two games in the series against the Braves. In the first, he gave up two hits and a run, and only half his pitches thrown were for strikes. In his next appearance only a third of his pitches were for strikes, and he left the game without recording an out, after loading the bases.
Time for the Nationals to get the next man up from Triple-A Rochester, and send Sam Clay down to work on his issues.
The Nationals know what they have in Sam Clay. A 4.57 FIP. A 1.61 WHIP. He strikes out less than two hitters for every one he walks.
Winning games from here until the end of the year is not a priority for the Nationals. Sure, they’d like to put a few more in the win column, but they would also like to better their draft position, and that comes with losing.
However, evaluating talent needs to be of the upmost importance. Not to say Clay doesn’t have a future with the team moving forward, he may. He doesn’t need to pitch anymore this year. Gabe Klobosits could use some big league seasoning. Tanner Rainey is the only other reliever on the 40-man roster, not on the active roster, though we know what he’s going to give the team as well.
Demote Clay. DFA Alex Avila, that guy doesn’t have a future in Washington, to clear a spot on the 40-man. Recall Tres Barrera. Purchase the contract of Aaron Barrett. Or Diego Moreno. Or Bryan Bonnell. Someone. Anyone. End the Sam Clay madness for 2021, please.