Emmanuel Clase
Emmanuel Clase is becoming one of the most lethal relievers in baseball. I’m not sure how anybody hits his disgusting cutter. (AP/Phil Long)

Emmanuel Clase Is Becoming One Of The Most Lethal Relievers In MLB

Do you know who Emmanuel Clase is? Well, if you don’t know, it’s time to start learning the name. When you think of the best relievers in the sport, it won’t be long until Clase’s name is right up there with the best of the best. The Indians’ closer is downright lethal and is pretty much unhittable.

Clase, 23, was acquired via trade when Cleveland shipped Corey Kluber to Texas. Delino DeShields was also traded to Cleveland but is currently in the minors. The Kluber trade felt like a major sell low given the track record. Of course, Kluber pitched ONE game for Texas, and now Clase features arguably the dirtiest pitch in baseball next to Shohei Ohtani’s splitter.

How does a 101 MPH cutter sound? You didn’t think that was even humanly possible prior to Clase. Somehow, he pumps that sucker in there time and time again.

Sorry, not sorry. You’re just not hitting this. In 33 games, the hard throwing right hander is sporting an ERA of 0.85 while striking out 35 in 31.1 innings. Even when hitters are somehow able to generate contact, it’s always soft contact. Clase ranks in the 99th percentile in barrel rate and leads the majors with a 73.8 ground ball rate. Nothing is hit hard. If anything, it’s soft dribbles resulting in a ground ball out.

It’s no surprise Clase ranks in the 100th percentile in fastball velocity. I love the fact that he’s up there screwing around. Clase features a three pitch mix of a fastball, cutter, and slider. Except there’s a catch. He throws the cutter 75.2% of the time, and who could blame him? Nobody is hitting it, so why not just keep firing that puppy in there?

Half the time it moves outside the strike zone, but hitters have no idea how to adjust. Clase is also generating a chase rate on pitches outside the zone at a 98 percentile rate. The cutter moves so much that it’s never a strike, and hitters are kept wondering where the hell it went. That’s because nobody else in the bigs features this kind of pitch.

The average velocity on the cutter is 100 MPH on the nose. Best of all, Clase hasn’t allowed a single home run on the season. To be honest, I’m not sure how the hell you can even hit that thing out of the park?

The decision to just non-tender Brad Hand was a weird one. Hand has been a reliable closer for a long time. Hand was on a team friendly contract, and the Indians just cut bait getting nothing for him. It still was probably a terrible decision. However, little did we know Cleveland had this dude just shit pumping everyone.

Emmanuel Clase is on pace to become one of the dirtiest closers in the sport. Given the 101 MPH cutter he throws, it’s only a matter of time before everyone else figures out how insane this guy is.