Clay Holmes Set To Make His First Career Major League Start
By Marty Leap
As long as Clay Holmes lives he will never forget Independence Day 2018 because he is set to make his first Major League start tonight
Prior to the start of Tuesday night’s 8-3 loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers the Pittsburgh Pirates placed Joe Musgrove on the disabled list. You can read more about Musgrove being placed on the DL here.
Musgrove was scheduled to make his eighth start of the season for the Pirates on Wednesday night. But now that he is on the DL the team needed another starting pitcher in a hurry, and that pitcher will be righty Clay Holmes.
The 25-year-old Holmes has pitched in two games in relief for the Pirates this season. He has allowed two hits, one run, walked three, and struck out two in 4 innings pitched thus far in his MLB career. Tonight, however, will be his first career MLB start.
Holmes was a 9th round pick in the 2011 Draft by the Pirates. At one point in his career Holmes was well on his way to becoming one of the top pitching prospects in the organization. However, Tommy John Surgery cost him all of 2014 and most of 2015 putting his career on pause.
Last season Holmes reached the Triple-A level for the first time and found success. In 25 games (24 starts) he had a 20.8% strikeout rate, 12.4% walk rate, and allowed just four home runs in 112 1/3 innings pitched. Despite the high walk rate he still finished the season with a strong 3.36 ERA and 3.81 FIP.
In 2018 Holmes has built upon his 2017 success. His strikeout rate has increased to 25.0%, his walk rate has dropped to 10.6%, and he has allowed just one home run in 66 1/3 innings pitched for Indianapolis. He owns a 3.39 ERA and a 2.81 FIP for the Indians.
Holmes has pitched well at Triple-A this season and has found success in his two relief appearances for the Pirates. Wednesday, however, will be by far his stiffest test yet when he faces one of the best offenses in baseball.
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The 6’5″, 250 pound Holmes throws a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s, as well as a curveball and a changeup. If Holmes pitches well tonight, odds are, he will earn another start as Musgrove is expected to miss at least two starts before returning from the DL.