Based on ZiPS projections, Emmanuel Clase is expected to finish 2021 with the following stats:
3.57 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 7.94 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 64 G, 68.0 IP, 0.8 fWAR
Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Let’s Go Tribe Discord.
Matt Schlichting’s Prediction: PUSH
This all depends on how the manager of the Cleveland Baseball Team decides to deploy the bullpen.
I don’t believe in closers. I think it’s completely ludicrous to say that “some guys can close and some can’t”. To me, the only reason that a team should force one player to consistently close games is to inflate his value through saves and trade him for far more than he is worth.
Cleveland, especially, should avoid giving anyone the closer moniker. Take your best relievers and use them in the highest-leverage situations. If you’re up by one in the ninth, yes. That is an appropriate time. If you are up by three, that is not an appropriate time.
If it is tied in the seventh and there are runners on first and second with no outs, you had better be reaching for your best reliever overall instead of “saving him”.
I don’t know if Emmanuel Clase is the best reliever in Cleveland this year. I think he is certainly one of the four best, and that is out of a group that I think is going to be the best bullpen in all of baseball.
So, for Clase, it all comes down to usage. I think it’s going to be much more instructive to look at WPA for all of our relievers at season’s end. The ZiPS projection numbers match his 2019 pace pretty closely. I can’t project a leap forward because we simply don’t know how all of his time off is going to change him.
If he closes, I think he will see fewer overall innings than if he is employed in a setup or “fireman” role. If he sneaks into the Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen usage range then he may very well sneak into the 1.0+ fWAR range. There are at least two other guys on the roster who are in the same position, however. It is a good problem for the team to have too many impact bullpen arms, but it may limit Clase’s aggregate value.
I think this is against the rules, but for the first time this year I’ve seen a ZiPS projection and I’ve thought, “Yeah, that’s about right.” Throw in your usual plus or minus and I can’t argue at all.
Will Emmanuel Clase finish with an fWAR Over or Under 0.8?
This poll is closed