Imagine having to face a pitcher who throws a pitch with changeup movement and elite fastball velocity.
Sounds tough, right?
Well, try hitting it.
It happens to be one of the strongest seasons in recent memory by a reliever.
“Clay’s faced 129 batters this year and 2 have scored,” Codify Baseball tweeted.
Clay's faced 129 batters this year and 2 have scored. 🤮 https://t.co/kMwQQgCiF8
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) June 27, 2022
Codify Baseball quoted a Pitching Ninja video showing Holmes throwing a 98-mph sinker to earn a swinging strike.
The horizontal and vertical movement is just outstanding for a pitch that fast.
Holmes keeps showing the Yankees stole him from the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, before the trade deadline.
This season, he is posting an incredible 0.52 ERA in 34.2 frames.
It means he allows about a run every 18 innings.
Imagine showing that level of dominance in the hardest league in the world.
The Yankees Turned His Career Around
In return, they received a reliever that they turned into an elite one.
Holmes had notorious control issues with the Pirates, but it was mainly because he nibbled too much and didn’t want to attack hitters in the strike zone.
The Yankees improved his sinker and slider, and he gained the confidence to go after hitters.
He turned his career around since landing on the Bronx.
For the year, besides the 0.52 ERA, he has 36 strikeouts and a league-leading 82.4 ground ball percentage.
Grounders and strikeouts are a perfect combination for a pitcher, and Holmes excels at both.
He is arguably the best reliever in baseball.