New York Yankees: Tyler Clippard is Criminally Underrated in a Dominant Bullpen 2
Apr 14, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (29) reacts after getting the final out in the top of the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have showcased an incredible bullpen this season, but Tyler Clippard simply can’t be forgotten.

Adam Warren shuts down the middle of the game. Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman close out opponents. Yet the biggest piece of the puzzle is often unrecognized in right-hander Tyler Clippard.

Clippard, the journeyman reliever, has finally found a permanent home in the New York Yankees bullpen and his success on the mound ultimately plays a big role in the overall success of the Yankees.

Right now, Clippard has had a few rough outings but overall has been incredibly solid. The Yankees need him now more than ever if they want to continue this incredible run they’ve been on so far.

Clippard plays several roles for the 2017 Yankees. He can serve as middle relief, coming from his days as a mediocre starter. He can close out a game, coming from his experience with the Washington Nationals. Essentially, Clippard is the whole package.

That has been demonstrated already this season. Clippard has made appearances in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, proving his versatility. Oh, during his seven games this season, the Yankees are 6-1.

Of course, the one loss came off a late-inning home run that he allowed to unknown Baltimore Oriole Seth Smith. He has things to work on but the season is young and the upside on Clippard is far better than his occasional struggles.

While Warren’s numbers this season might be more impressive, Clippard is showing that he is a force to be reckoned with on the mound. He has struck out nine in six innings of work while walking one.

Clippard has allowed two home runs in his work by simply leaving fastballs up in the zone but he’s also the man responsible for striking out heavy hitters like Manny Machado and Matt Carpenter with the game on the line.

Apr 4, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (29) throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

He has the stuff to put away top-notch hitters whether it is the sixth or the ninth inning. That versatility brings the new bullpen narrative into effect. The Yankees can essentially have a reliever with closer-like abilities entering the game early.

Now that is a huge benefit for a team who has struggled in middle relief for the past few seasons.

Tyler Clippard has some nasty stuff that gets hitters to chase his pitches. He has real talent with his devastating changeup and blazing fastball. The better Clippard gets, the better off the Yankees will be.

What stands out most about Clippard is that he is a guy that thrives on those high-pressure situations. He lives and breathes drama and has the facial expressions and reactions to show for it. He also holds himself accountable for his mistakes.

He carefully selects each pitch to get the outcome he wants.
He is the true definition of animated pitcher. The great thing is that he has the skills to back it up.

We saw brilliant performances from Clippard last season. It might take him some time to get into the groove this season but when he does, he’ll be the key piece in holding that bullpen together.

He can serve as a bridge to the closers. He can be the closer. He can pitch one or two innings in relief of a starter. He can do it all.

Tyler Clippard’s versatility makes him one of the most dangerous weapons in an already stacked bullpen. Let’s give him a little more credit when it comes to his quietly successful performances.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.