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Dodgers: Why Mike Clevinger is the Perfect Rotation Fit

Clevinger might be the missing piece to the rotation.



It is not at all a stretch to say that Mike Clevinger of the Cleveland Indians has been one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball. The casual fan might not even be fully aware of who he is and that is understandable. In a similar fashion to the way Bryce Harper overshadowed Anthony Rendon on the Nationals for many seasons, Clevinger was overshadowed by his excellent rotation counterparts in Cleveland.

Still, Clevinger is an excellent starting pitcher in his own right and honestly might be the best pitcher out of the group of Corey Kluber (who again is being linked to the Dodgers in rumors), Carlos Carrasco, Shane Bieber, and formerly Trevor Bauer.

By the Numbers

By taking one look at Mike Clevinger’s profile on Baseball Savant, you will see exactly why he is so good. He throws the ball hard (83rd percentile velocity) and limits hard contact — a fantastic recipe for an ace. In 2019, he allowed a 91st percentile exit velocity and 92nd percentile xwOBA, while supplying a 94th percentile strikeout percentage.

In 2019, Clevinger made just 21 starts, striking out 169 batters in 126 innings. Baseball Prospectus’s DRA- was also very supportive of his craft as he ended with a 68.2 mark, which ranked him 23rd in baseball amongst pitchers who tossed a minimum of 100 innings last season.

Over the last few seasons, Clevinger has actually been one of the best pitchers in baseball. Despite throwing fewer innings than everyone except Luis Severino above him, he ranks 17th in WAR since 2017 amongst pitchers. Since 2018, he ranks 11th in WAR and an amazing 6th in ERA behind some of the biggest names in the game. He’s good.

Here is how filthy Clevinger is, courtesy of Rob Friedman/Pitching Ninja:

All of this analysis of Clevinger and how good he is would be for nothing if he was not available for trade. However, it appears that he might be as the Indians shop Corey Kluber and Francisco Lindor, too.

To the Naked Eye

Mike Clevinger just looks good and that is because he is. He has the tools to be an ace for the Dodgers for years to come and it appears now is the time to strike if the Dodgers want to make this a reality. With the Cleveland Indians reportedly looking to sell, Clevinger could be had. At just 28, Clevinger will not be a free agent until 2023.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

Comments

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  1. Indeed, I have always thought highly of Clevinger, a real pro.

    I certainly agree with Daniel’s spot-on assessment.
    He would be an excellent fit for the Dodgers.

    Are you reading this, Andrew Friedman?

    Regards.

  2. Or instead of selling the farm they can simply use some of the billions they have from shady practices like that TV deal and ridiculous prices to sign Cole

    • You must be in on it to know their shady practices so well. Refreshing to see a crook like you confessing your own embezzlement.

      • Stupid comment “Gus” clearly you have your head buried in the sand. Most fans are aware of what they do and have stated it here many times, it’s not just me

  3. Thirty years of perfect fits:
    Garret Anderson, Adrian Gonzalez, Bobby Abreu, Hanley Ramirez, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Joe Blanton, Andruw Jones, Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramirez, Juan Pierre, Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal, Jeff Kent, Derek Lowe, Jim Thome, George Sherrill, Jason Schmidt, Brad Penny, Rickey Henderson, Robin Ventura, Brian Jordan,Shawn Green, Fred McGriff, Jeremy Burnitz,Eddie Murray, Gary Sheffield, Marquis Grissom,Mark Grudzielanek, Todd Hundley, Greg Olson, Greg Maddux, Charles Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Todd Zeile, Todd Worrell, Brett Butler, Luis Gonzalez, Delino Deshields, Tim Wallach, Roberto Kelly, Roger McDowell, Eric Davis, Darryl Strawberry, Cory Snyder, Tom Candiotti, Kal Daniels, Juan Samuel, Gary Carter,Mike Morgan, Kevin Brown, Yu Darvish, and too many more…

  4. I would have liked to see some of his actual statistics, like era, games won/lost, velocity, what pitches he throws, health history instead of what percentile he’s in. Seems like you’re hiding something.

  5. I’d rather have a relief pitcher…………someone like Blake Treinen………we do not need another starter…………we need relief help.

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