Claggett Finding His Groove

TRENTON, NJ - Anthony Claggett, since being acquired in the Gary Sheffield trade from Detroit, has seen a mulititude of roles in the Yankees minor league system. A reliever for the Tigers, the Yankees stretched him out last season as a starter to get some work in before moving him back to the bullpen this season, and just now seems to be finding his niche.

After a good season last year Anthony Claggett has exploded onto the scene in a system filled to the brim with potential back-of-the-bullpen arms.

Last year Claggett started 17 of the 33 games he appeared in, going 9-8 with a 3.76 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 117 innings. That time was spent mostly in Tampa, but Claggett has made the most of a quick promotion to Trenton this year.

In 14 games for Double-A Trenton, all out of the bullpen, Claggett has posted a 1.32 ERA in 27 innings with 25 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .248 batting average against. Pitching Coach Scott Aldred is enthusiastic about Clagget's torrid start.

"The changeup is getting there, the slider's there," said Aldred. "It's just a matter of looking for consistency and better command. The strikeout's come because he throws pretty hard and his slider's a plus pitch, and the strikeout's are great because he's primarily a ground ball guy."

This season has not been all positive for Claggett, however, who started the season on the disabled list because of an injury suffered in Spring Training.

"The first day of camp just doing the conditioning, we ran a bunch of poles and when we got to sprints, in the middle of the first sprint my hamstring just gave out," said Claggett. "I was out for all of Spring Training and the first month of the season."

This setback just inspired Claggett to work harder, and after a rehab outing in Tampa, he was promoted to Trenton to bolster what has become one of the Eastern League's best bullpens. He attributes his success this year to a renewed self-confidence.

"Confidence is a big deal right now," he admitted. "Last year I had a little struggle with that but it's been really good this year, just going out there and getting outs."

While Claggett's team leading ERA has been a revelation, that is not to say the work ends here for the young right-hander.

"I could work on something new every day and not learn enough, but the changeup still needs improvement and location is a big concern," he listed. "I just try to go out there every day and get better.

"The walk numbers are a concern and I'd like to work on that. Some of the walks have been certain situations so I'm not too worried about, it but they have gotten me in trouble a couple of times so it's definitely something I'm working on."

Aldred agrees, reiterating that "going forward he's going to work on command and the location of all of his pitches on a consistent basis."

Towards gaining that consistency, Claggett has pitched in multiple innings in almost every appearance this season. While Aldred explains that the additional innings are going towards getting him the necessary repetitions, Claggett also theorized it may have something to do with his future role.

"I think they see me as a long relief type of guy," he opined, "which I like doing - multiple innings."

One of the numbers that stands out is Claggett's batting average against with runners in scoring position; a miniscule .143. This is an important stat for bullpen pitchers who are often pitching in high-pressure situations. Aldred agrees that Claggett has a bright future.

"Claggett's done a real nice job for us," said the Trenton pitching coach. "His stuff's good, he's a sinker-slider guy with a nice changeup and I like what I've seen. He's gotten a lot of outs for us and his stuff is gonna play in the future in a big way."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nAfter a good season last year Anthony Claggett has exploded onto the scene in a system filled to the brim with potential back-of-the-bullpen arms.
\r\n
\r\nLast year Claggett started 17 of the 33 games he appeared in, going 9-8 with a 3.76 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 117 innings. That time was spent mostly in Tampa, but Claggett has made the most of a quick promotion to Trenton this year.
\r\n
\r\nIn 14 games for Double-A Trenton, all out of the bullpen, Claggett has posted a 1.32 ERA in 27 innings with 25 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .248 batting average against. Pitching Coach Scott Aldred is enthusiastic about Clagget's torrid start.
\r\n
\r\n\"The changeup is getting there, the slider's there,\" said Aldred. \"It's just a matter of looking for consistency and better command. The strikeout's come because he throws pretty hard and his slider's a plus pitch, and the strikeout's are great because he's primarily a ground ball guy.\"
\r\n
\r\nThis season has not been all positive for Claggett, however, who started the season on the disabled list because of an injury suffered in Spring Training.
\r\n
\r\n\"The first day of camp just doing the conditioning, we ran a bunch of poles and when we got to sprints, in the middle of the first sprint my hamstring just gave out,\" said Claggett. \"I was out for all of Spring Training and the first month of the season.\"
\r\n
\r\nThis setback just inspired Claggett to work harder, and after a rehab outing in Tampa, he was promoted to Trenton to bolster what has become one of the Eastern League's best bullpens. He attributes his success this year to a renewed self-confidence.
\r\n
\r\n\"Confidence is a big deal right now,\" he admitted. \"Last year I had a little struggle with that but it's been really good this year, just going out there and getting outs.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile Claggett's team leading ERA has been a revelation, that is not to say the work ends here for the young right-hander.
\r\n
\r\n\"I could work on something new every day and not learn enough, but the changeup still needs improvement and location is a big concern,\" he listed. \"I just try to go out there every day and get better.
\r\n
\r\n\"The walk numbers are a concern and I'd like to work on that. Some of the walks have been certain situations so I'm not too worried about, it but they have gotten me in trouble a couple of times so it's definitely something I'm working on.\"
\r\n
\r\nAldred agrees, reiterating that \"going forward he's going to work on command and the location of all of his pitches on a consistent basis.\"
\r\n
\r\nTowards gaining that consistency, Claggett has pitched in multiple innings in almost every appearance this season. While Aldred explains that the additional innings are going towards getting him the necessary repetitions, Claggett also theorized it may have something to do with his future role.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think they see me as a long relief type of guy,\" he opined, \"which I like doing - multiple innings.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of the numbers that stands out is Claggett's batting average against with runners in scoring position; a miniscule .143. This is an important stat for bullpen pitchers who are often pitching in high-pressure situations. Aldred agrees that Claggett has a bright future.
\r\n
\r\n\"Claggett's done a real nice job for us,\" said the Trenton pitching coach. \"His stuff's good, he's a sinker-slider guy with a nice changeup and I like what I've seen. He's gotten a lot of outs for us and his stuff is gonna play in the future in a big way.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

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