Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 2/4/13
Washington-nationals
  Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez until Spring Training. Enjoy. 2012 marked Tyler Clippard’s fifth season in Washington, and his ERA was the highest it had been since his first year on the staff. But don’t be deceived by the numbers. Clippard’s worth last season was measured by much more than his ERA. When Drew Storen was injured and it became apparent that flamethrower Henry Rodriguez was not going to work out as a closer, Clippard seamlessly stepped into the closer role for the first time in his career, and he did a phenomenal job of filling in. In 50 games as a closer, Clippard had a 3.70 ERA and a .196 batting average against. He struck out 56 batters, recorded 32 saves (seventh in the NL) and had only four blown saves. Clippard’s first day with his new job title was also the day he earned his first save. On May 22 against the Philadelphia Phillies, Clippard faced the minimum and stuck out one, cementing the Nationals’ 5-2 victory. From that day forward Clippard was exceptional. He didn’t allow an earned run until mid-July, when Storen was nearing full health. In July, Clippard may have felt the pressure of his lack of job security, because he blew his first save since taking over the closer’s role two days before Storen was taken off the DL. That’s all speculation, but the stress of fighting for his job may have gotten to him. Around that time, he allowed seven earned runs and blew two saves in three days. Clippard resumed his previous dominance when he ascertained that he was going to keep his job, until the end of the season when he started to wear down. September was his worst month of the year, when he recorded an 8.03 ERA, a .358 batting average against, three losses to zero wins and just four saves. Clippard pitched the second-most innings of Nationals’ relievers in 2012, so the fatigue that seemed to be an issue will most certainly be removed in 2013 with the surplus of late-game relievers. Next Year: After going through arbitration this year, Clippard is set to earn $4 million in 2013, which makes him the second-highest paid reliever behind Rafael Soriano. Now that Soriano is in the mix, Clippard will most likely pitch in the seventh inning. The right-hander could also periodically serve as a lefty specialist (a position the Nationals are lacking) because his career numbers are actually slightly better against left-handed hitters than right-handed ones. In Clippard’s career, rightys have scored 23 more runs than leftys, hit 11 more home runs, walked 14 more times, and have had significantly higher batting averages and on-base percentages. Up Next: #37 Stephen Strasburg
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

Could the Spurs backups make playoffs in the east?

Josh Howard reportedly attempting NBA comeback

Reggie Wayne feels like a rookie with the Patriots

Eric Davis: Jim Harbaugh coddled 49ers off the field

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

Jonathan Kraft: Patriots haven’t apologized to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming service

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: Could new irons be reason for missed cut at Barclays?

The Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Andy Reid on calling perfect play: 'That’s like a good cheeseburger'

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Boston Red Sox

Jerry Rice: Adrian Peterson still number one pick in fantasy

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker