Cleveland Indians Reliever Suspended for PED Use

Emmanuel Clase

Emmanuel Clase Suspended 80 Games

The Cleveland Indians announced that one of their key offseason acquisitions of this last offseason was suspended for PED use. The news was originally reported by Anthony Castrovince who writes for on Twitter.

Emmanuel Clase, as previously mentioned was a significant pickup for the Indians, from the Texas Rangers. Clase was traded along with outfielder Delino DeShields in exchange for starting pitcher Corey Kluber. In many regards, analysts and fans alike didn’t think Cleveland received enough value in exchange for Kluber. However, Clase was the key piece for Cleveland.

Emmanuel Clase’s Expected Role with the Indians

Heading into this season, Cleveland penciled Clase in as a late-inning relief option. When Spring Training was going on, Clase was competing for one of those roles. With Clase in the mix, Cleveland would have had a very good trio at the back of the bullpen. Besides Clase, Cleveland would have had right-hander Adam Cimber and left-handed closer Brad Hand to utilize in the late innings.

In addition, lefty Oliver Perez and righty Nick Wittgren would have played a significant role in the success of Cleveland’s bullpen as well. Without Clase in the mix last year, the Indians bullpen posted a cumulative ERA of 3.76 over 507 and 1/3 innings of work. That was good enough of third place in the American League. In addition, as a unit, the Indians bullpen posted a .244 Opponent Batting Average Against and a 9.33 K/9 rate.

For Clase, the 2019 regular season was a big step forward in the development process. The then 21-year old posted a 2.31 ERA over 23 and 1/3 innings of work with 21 strikeouts, an ERA+ of 226, and a 3.23 Fielding Independent Percentage (FIP). One of the things that made Clase so attractive to the Cleveland Indians was his ability to throw his cutter in the upper 90’s to low 100’s. Clase relied on his cutter 73.3% of the time last year and it resulted in a cumulative Whiff Rate of 25.8%.

With the sidearm action that Adam Cimber has and Brad Hand’s ability to throw his slider with ease, it would have been an intriguing trio. As is the case with any small market team, the Indians like to have pitching depth, especially in the bullpen. In many ways, the bullpen is what has helped Cleveland to be successful over the past few seasons.

Final Thoughts

Although it is not yet known whether there will be a season or not this year, this is still devastating news for the Indians. Emmanuel Clase was a tremendous pickup for the team this past offseason. Furthermore, Clase was a big part of their plan for this season. Without Clase in the mix, the Indians bullpen is not as strong as it could have been.

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