Clevinger, who had Tommy John surgery in November 2020, returned in May after missing the entire 2021 season. He’s seen a significant drop in speed, with his fastball averaging 93.5 mph compared to 95 mph over the 2019 and 2020 seasons, likely contributing to his lower strike rate (18.8% in 2022 compared to 27.5% in in 2020 and 22.6% in 2019). However, he was able to pitch 114 1/3 regular season innings of 4.33 ERA balls, a 7.2% walk average, and a 35.2% ground ball average. He also started a pair of playoff games, allowing 7 earned runs in 2 ⁄ 3 innings pitched.
The White Sox now have a projected staff of Dylan stood upAnd the Lance LaneAnd the Lucas GiolitoAnd the Michael Kubis, though Kopech is recovering from a left knee strain and a sore right shoulder. Clevinger’s addition probably closes the book on the prospect Johnny Cueto return. Cueto proved invaluable after signing a minor league deal with the Sox, posting a 3.35 ERA in 158 1/3 innings.
Although Clevinger’s post-Tommy John work hasn’t been inspiring, some teams have hoped that further distance surgery and/or adjustments to his repertoire might help him rediscover his form in 2017-2019, as he pitched 447 2/3 innings with a 2.96 ERA. , 28.3% inning rate, 9.1% walk rate, 40.2% ground ball rate.
The Padres acquired Clevinger from the Indians in a game Nine players trade at the 2020 trade deadline. It should be noted that the White Sox were also in the mix for the pitcher he knows best from the AL Central, though Rosenthal heard from a team official who they felt were used as a “stalking horse”. Clevinger made four starts after the deal, but was then scratched by what at the time was called a biceps tightness and was later modified to a sprained elbow. The Padres brought him back for Game 1 of the NLDS that year, but he was pulled from the start and was on the operating table the following month.
At the time of the surgery announcement, the Padres had also purchased Clevinger’s last two arbitration years for a total of $11.5 million, effectively paying him that much for what he could contribute in ’22. observed in March, “I feel healthier than I’ve felt in my entire career,” he sprained his knee shortly thereafter, resulting in his debut on May 4. IL hit again after three starts due to a triceps strain.
Over his first ten games, Clevinger was able to miss at bats at a rate of 24.7% above average. Despite this, over his last 11 games, Clevenger has hit just 13.5% against opposing hitters. Clevinger’s fastball saw a distinct decline as the season went on, occasionally running at 95+ MPH on some of his earlier starts versus a few sub-93 MPH games on summer days. Although it was the first time he had made more than 42 runs in a season since 2019 and some fatigue was to be expected.
With a group of unproven pitchers vying for the fifth starting spot and Kopech recovering from knee surgery, White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz recently commented, “Obviously we need another start,” as I previously reported. James Fegan from The Athletic. But As noted by Vigan Of GM meetings earlier this month, “If there’s one thing the White Sox aren’t touting about themselves this season, it’s their payroll flexibility.” For an overview of the challenges GM Rick Hahn faced, check out MLBTR owner Tim Dierkes’ Offseason Outlook over here.
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