The Washington Nationals have made yet another change to their was vaunted bullpen. THe season started with stud closer Drew Storen, who after posting 43 saves in 2011, opened the 2012 season on the disabled list and even had surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. However, the Nationals had a back up plan in veteran closer Brad Lidge. Of course, if you know the history of Brad Lidge, then you know he’s injury prone. His first stint on the DL was Vertigo. To fully understand Vertigo, CLICK HERE. After he recovered his balance, he then hit the DL with an Abdominal wall strain.
However, the Nationals had a back up plan, enter Henry Rodriguez. HROD actually remained healthy and saved 9/12 games. After getting hammered often enough, Davy Johnson gave up on Rodriguez and gave the job to the deserving Tyler Clippard. Clippard has been a dominating force in the National bullpen for the past three years. While his 2012 season hasn’t been quite as dominating as his other season, Clippard was a closer in the making a long time ago and is finally getting the chance to shine in the position he was groomed for. His career ERA sits at a poultry 2.97 and his K/9 sits at a staggering 10.1. In 2012 his ERA is at 3.15 with one save and a K/9 at 10.8.
Making Tyler Clippard the closer was the best move Johnson has made this season concerning his bullpen. He very well could keep the job all season with rumors swirling about the possibility of Drew Storen getting traded. I firmly believe that as long as Clippard is effective in the role, that Brad Lidge isn’t a threat when he returns.
If Tyler Clippard is available in your league, grab him ASAP. If he’s not, consider a buy low trade if the other owner isn’t up to speed on Clippard’s true talents. Wether or not Clippard stays with the Nationals, he deserves to be a closer and if he becomes one full-time, he will be one of the best in the league. Bank on it.