To have success in MLB, a team needs to have a dominant reliever or two, surrounded by a solid bullpen.
Despite not being as good as they were last season, the Cleveland Guardians do check that box: they have an absolutely dominant bullpen arm that makes sure leads are well-protected.
His name is Emmanuel Clase, and every year he has been healthy and available, he has dominated the competition and posted absurd numbers.
On Tuesday night, he reached a cool milestone: 40 saves, the first pitcher to do it this year according to MLB.
Emmanuel Clase is the first to 40 saves this season. 👏
It’s his second consecutive season of 40+ saves.
— MLB (@MLB) September 13, 2023
If we add up his 2022 performance, Clase has 82 saves in the last two years, which is magnificent.
When it comes to run prevention, Clase hasn’t been as dominant as he was in the past: his 3.11 ERA is much worse than the 1.36 mark he finished with last year.
It is still a solid ERA, though.
Perhaps if we look at Clase, we can describe the Guardians season: good, but not as good as last year.
In all fairness, Cleveland is closer to mediocre than good, with a 69-77 record.
They find themselves 7.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central lead, but they might not have enough time to catch them.
Still, baseball is full of surprises and the Guardians will play every game with every intention to win.
Clase will be there to protect the leads he has to protect.
The Guardians can rest easy knowing that they have a pitcher who knows how to get those last outs even when he is far from his best version.NEXT: Guardians Have 2 Aces Making Rehab Starts This Week