This year at New Orleans, Clemens has put up a 6-4 record to go along with a 4.30 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. And we’ll start with that WHIP, for while not great, it blows Cosart out of the water; despite a just barely sub 4.00 ERA, Cosart is still struggling with command. He beats Jose Urena out easily as well, as “the other Jose” brings marks of 4.76 and 1.37 to the table. Kendrys Flores is better, but is also working back from injury still. Chris Narveson? Well, we’ll come back to him; in any event, he’s a known quality at this point, and that 8.64 MLB ERA in 2016 is hard to forget.
Clemens has also been extremely effective recently. In his last four starts, he’s allowed just 11 H and 7 ER across 23 2/3 IP. He’s lost once in eight starts dating back to May 4th. In two of his last three, he held the opposition scoreless. There’s reason for optimism here.
And not just by the numbers. He was signed as a free agent in late November, one month after the Marlins landed pitching guru Jim Benedict. So it’s reasonable to expect that Benedict saw something he liked in Clemens, and might have made enough tweaks and corrections to the journeyman righty’s delivery that he can be effective at the MLB level. In Jim We Trust.
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