Emmanuel Clase, RP, Cleveland Indians
Going into the season, and for much of the games played so far, the Tribe have used a committee approach to the closer role. Depending on the situation and recent usage, both James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase were getting chances to close out games. With Karinchak’s recent struggles, Clase has the chance to prove that he can be the club’s full-time closer.
So far this season, Clase has 18 saves compared to the 11 of Karinchak. Clase also has just three blown saves while Karinchak has four. On the surface there isn’t a huge difference, but overall Clase has put together the stronger season.
He’s been able to keep his ERA low at 1.55 while averaging 9.8 strikeouts per nine. He also hasn’t allowed a run since July 16 and just three hits in the month of August. He also hasn’t pitched in the eighth inning or earlier since July either.
The key for Clase now through the rest of the season is to prove himself as the true closer in Cleveland. The coaching staff is showing their trust in him to close down games and if he can consistently do that then he could secure the closing job moving forward.