The New York Yankees saved Clay Holmes’ career upon acquiring him via trade in 2021.
He was unhittable with a Yankees uniform in the second half of that year and posted an incredible 2.54 ERA last year.
However, since July of 2022 and until very recently, Holmes didn’t seem to be as dominant as he was in 2021 and the first half of 2022.
Hitters had somewhat adjusted to his nasty sinker, at least to some extent.
Well, they say baseball is a game of adjustments.
As a result, Holmes went to the lab and worked on a pitch that would give hitters another look.
Ladies and gentlemen, here is Holmes’ new slider:
Clay Holmes is using a new slider that has more vertical break than horizontal break, and in his last 13.1 IP, he's been remarkable:
— Fireside Yankees (@FiresideYankees) June 1, 2023
“Clay Holmes is using a new slider that has more vertical break than horizontal break, and in his last 13.1 IP, he’s been remarkable: 0.68 ERA, 1.71 FIP, 2.72 SIERA, 33.3% K%. Do the Yankees have their All-Star Closer back?” Fireside Yankees tweeted, asking whether Holmes can be trusted again in all situations.
Those numbers appear to scream “yes.”
His full-season ERA is 3.09, which indicates that he was struggling a bit until that 13.1-IP run.
He appears to have found the formula again, though.
That slider is not like the Yankees’ traditional “sweeper” because it doesn’t have that much horizontal break.
It does have sudden drop with a bit of horizontal break to the glove side, an entirely different look than his sinker, a pitch with elite arm-side run.
The Yankees coaches have been doing their job when it comes to improving the talent available in-house.
That’s the mark of a true contender.
They seem to have “fixed” Holmes, and that’s bad news for the league.NEXT: Aaron Boone Comments On Surprising Yankees Demotion