Is Clay Holmes A Good Pitcher?

In less than a year, a reliever who battled to hold the Pittsburgh Pirates to a low run total has turned into one of the Yankees’ strongest options in the pen.



A former Alabama Razorback, Holmes struggled mightily in his lone season with the Pirates in 2019. BABIP: Holmes’ BABIP was just.299. He had a WAR of just -0.1 and walked 6.48 batters per nine innings (BB/9).

 

To make matters worse, Holmes did not appear in any of the team’s 60 games in the 2020 season at all. The righty reliever missed time in 2020 because of a fractured right foot, a strained right forearm, and covid.



 

On July 26, 2021, Holmes was exchanged for prospects Hoy Jun Park and Diego Castillo in an infield transaction. Matt Blake, the Yankees’ Pitching Coach, had a different take on the Yankees’ search for bullpen help.

Holmes made 25 appearances for the Yankees in 2021 and became one of Aaron Boone’s most trusted relief pitchers.

 

“It’s a little strange,” Holmes said to NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty. As clich√© as it may sound, “it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s a dream come true.”

A career-high 68.7 percent ground ball rate, 3.73 BB/9, and.273 BABIP were all part of Holmes’ 2021 season.

 

As a foundation for his future successes with the Yankees, Holmes used the team’s 2021 triumphs to his advantage.

 

Clay Holmes’ sinker will be used in a different manner in 2022. Since the start of the season, Holmes has used his sinker 79 percent of the time. Holmes used the sinker only 58% of the time in 2021.

 

Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees’ closer, had a significant impact on Holmes’ pitching repertoire, which resulted in his throwing the slider more frequently.