As we did last offseason, Twinkie Town writers are grading every player who appeared in a game for the 2020 Minnesota Twins. (Last year’s grades can be found here, this year’s here.) Players will be graded individually on an A-F scale based on their hitting, fielding, and whatever else the author wants to consider.
It was clear that the Minnesota Twins needed some assistance in the bullpen coming into 2020. With the re-addition of Sergio Romo, the front office paired him with veteran reliever Tyler Clippard to shore up the relief corps. Although, in my opinion, I was internally screaming about the bullpen this season, Clippard was a proven mainstay in an otherwise seemingly volatile relief group. (Take THAT, Cleveland!!!)
Granted it was a shorter season, Clippard made 26 appearances this year and pitched to a 2.77 ERA and 2.65 FIP. Both those numbers were the best he’s posted since his All-Star season with the Washington Nationals in 2014. His WHIP fell below 1.000 for the second season in a row (0.885) and although his K/9 rate was below 10.0 for the second time in as many seasons, he made up for it by turning in his best K/BB ratio (6.50) of his career.
How did he do compare to the rest of the relievers? He worked the most innings out of the relief group - even with an injury scare - and was in the top three of relievers in ERA, FIP, and WHIP while maintaining the lowest walk rate (1.4 BB/9) out of the group. Clippard was also flexible for Rocco Baldelli and crew as he opened two games for the Twins this season while still being the sixth- or seventh-inning man to set up for the closers.
In short, Clippard was probably an unsung hero of the bullpen. Hey, Falvine: Any chance of getting Clippard re-signed for 2021?
How would you grade Tyler Clippard’s 2020 season?
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