Milwaukee Brewers: The importance of Alex Claudio
By John Schnabl
Alex Claudio was acquired this past off-season to provide depth to a team that relies heavily on its bullpen. Little did he know how often he would be used and how important he would become for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Alex Claudio has pitched in 66 games this season and leads the team in pitching appearances. Matt Albers is only Milwaukee Brewers pitcher close to Claudio and he is 12 appearances behind him. In his last ten appearances he has only given up two runs and both of those runs came during one outing against the Cubs on August 4th. During that ten game stretch, he has only given up six hits. In addition, Claudio has not given up a run in his last seven appearances.
What do the numbers say about Claudio?
Even though Claudio was not brought in to be a lefty specialist, he has sort of grown into that important role due to his success against lefties and his struggles with right-handed hitters. Left handed hitters are only hitting .208 with a .281 OBP against Claudio. Right handed hitters on the other hand are hitting .300 with a .388 OBP against him.
Claudio had his struggles prior to the All-Star break and in May, he had an ERA of 9.00 in eight innings of work. Since the All-Star break, Claudio has been one of the most reliable relievers on the team. He has a 2.77 ERA in 17 games played. He has also done much better at home and during day games.
Most pitchers seem to wear down with a high number of appearances but Claudio seems to be getting stronger the more appearances he makes. As a former pitcher of the year for the Texas Rangers, he is becoming the iron man for the Brewers relief corp. If the Milwaukee Brewers are going to make it to another post season, Claudio’s ability to continue to answer the bell will be one of reasons why they made it.