New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes could do wonders for the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field
Despite having over three years of service time, New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes has not pitched a ton in the major leagues. He split the 2021 season between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Yankees and he had more MLB appearances in 2021 (69) than he did in the previous three seasons combined (47). He wasn’t particularly good for the Pirates in those 47 appearances (5.91 ERA) or his 44 appearances with the Pirates in 2021 (4.93 ERA). But what attracted the Yankees to him is what should attract the Colorado Rockies.
Holmes, 28, appeared in 25 games for the Yankees and turned things around. He had a sparkling 1.61 ERA for the Yankees down the stretch because he dramatically reduced his walk rate. He was walking more than six batters per nine innings in his overall time with the Pirates (5.4 BB/9 in 2021) and when he went to the Yankees, he dropped it by more than 75 percent down to 1.3 BB/9. For the Rockies, he is particularly intriguing because of his groundball rate.
Since 2019 among relievers with at least 100 innings pitched, Holmes has the second-highest groundball rate: 65.0 percent. Antonio Senzatela and Germán Márquez (both pitchers that pitch better at Coors Field than on the road) are both in the top ten in groundball rate for all starting pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched since 2019. Their groundball rates are, per FanGraphs, 52.1 and 50.4 percent.
In other words, Clay Holmes could be a great pitcher out of the Rockies bullpen, especially at Coors Field, with that groundball percentage.
The next team up in our series of potential targets is the Tampa Bay Rays.