Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Clippard Traded For Bullpen Help

The Yankees traded Tyler Clippard to the Washington Nationals for reliever Jonathan Albaladejo.

Albaladejo is 25, and during his minor league career showed very good k/bb numbers, 440 strikeouts to 103 walks to be exact. That includes a 2003 minor league season as a starter when he struck out 110 and walked 19 in 139 innings.

Last year, at the major league level, Albaladejo had a 1.88 ERA, struck out 12, walked 2 and allowed 7 hits in 14.1 innings. Pretty good numbers to go along with a fastball that can hit 95 on the radar gun. In his major league debut, Albaladejo retired the first five batters he faced, striking out the final three. The main concern with him is his conditioning, listed at 6'6 and 260 lbs.

If you know anything about me, you know that I am a big, big fan of T-Clip. It will be sad to see him leave the Yankees without ever getting a second chance with the big club. However, I am glad he will not be sitting at the tailend of a very talented minor league Yankees pitching depth chart, very possibly starting out of spring training. I still believe T-Clip's excellent command of his changeup and curve will make him a very serviceable ML starter, so the Nats made a good move here as well.

That Yankees-Mets debut in which T-Clip pitched six sparkling innings against the crosstown rivals will remain one of the most satisfying games for me. Furthermore, that win was one of several poignant moments in the 2007 season which made a playoff berth a possibility. All the best of luck to Clippard.

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