When the New York Yankees traded for a Pittsburgh Pirates reliever with an ERA around five, everybody was scratching their heads.
Fast forward a few months later, and it all makes sense: Clay Holmes just needed a couple of mechanical and approach adjustments to unlock his potential.
That potential is the one we are seeing today: an utterly dominant reliever capable of going almost two months without allowing an earned run.
“Clay Holmes has pitched 22 straight scoreless innings over his last 20 appearances. Wild,” Talkin’ Yanks tweeted.
Clay Holmes has pitched 22 straight scoreless innings over his last 20 appearances. Wild pic.twitter.com/S7iAt82lxN
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) May 25, 2022
It is, indeed, wild.
The Yankees bullpen entered the season as one of the best and deepest units in baseball.
And that has largely been the case… until recently, at least.
We will have to see how the group reacts to losing Chad Green (Tommy John surgery), Aroldis Chapman (Achilles injury, should be back soon), and having some unexpected struggling stars such as Jonathan Loaisiga and Miguel Castro.
Holmes Has Been The Best Reliever In The Best Bullpen
Even Michael King, who started off the season on fire, has looked vulnerable in recent outings.
But the one constant has been Holmes.
The right-handed sinker-slider specialist boasts a 0.40 ERA and a 1.49 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) in 22.2 innings so far.
He has given up just two walks and has struck out 23 foes.
Holmes has conceded more walks than earned runs, which is nothing short of amazing.
The only earned run he surrendered in 2022 came on April 9.
In a couple of weeks, if he manages to avoid earned runs, he will have spent two months without being scored upon.
His sinker-slider combo is death to hitters, and now that Chapman is on the 15-day injured list, he has been seeing some more high-leverage work.