Back to reality after the hope of signing Robertson with a similar Kelly in 33-year-old right-hander Tyler Clippard. Clippard has spent considerable time in the American League East with the Yankees and last season with Toronto where Clippard appeared in 73 games with a 4-3 record and 3.67 ERA/4.24 FIP.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
The one issue that leaps out with Clippard is a dismal 1.7 HR/9 thanks to a career-low 19.2 GB%. Clippard is a fly ball pitcher but has allowed just one in 16 innings pitched at Fenway Park. That, however, does not give me great solace that Clippard can keep it in the yard in this day and age of swing from the heels.
Clippard mixes it up on the mound with a fastball and its variations, a slider, change, and curve. In the velocity department, Clippard is no Kelly as he barely goes north of 90v on his heater. Is it still a heater when it doesn’t throw off much heat? Despite that Clippard still had an 11.1 K/9 rate in 2018 compared to hard-throwing Kelly’s 9.3 K/9. Clippard also doesn’t give up many hits with a career 6.7 H/9.
Clippard has reestablished himself and will get a nice – very nice – bounce from his baseball paltry $1.5 MM salary of 2018. The durable Clippard has averaged 72 games for the last eight seasons.
VERDICT: A good Kelly replacement