Clay Holmes to Miss 4-6 Weeks After Being Diagnosed With Foot Fracture
By Noah Wright
The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to lose one of their breakout candidate relief pitchers after a come backer fractured his foot
Last night, Pittsburgh Pirates’ right-handed relief pitcher Clay Holmes was removed from the game early vs the Minnesota Twins after a come backer off of slugger Nelson Cruz’s bat hit off of Holmes’ foot. Now, news broke that the right-hander will miss 4-6 weeks after suffering a fractured foot.
This is a tough break for the Pirates as Holmes was seen as a building block for the bullpen, and an arm the team was looking to rely on a fair amount in 2020. He may have even grown into a high leverage reliever. Holmes is out of minor league options and would not have passed through waivers if he was designated for assignment.
Last year, despite his 5.58 ERA and 4.97 FIP, Holmes showed a good amount of potential in his first full season in the Majors. But most of his struggles can be traced back to his fastball. You can read more about his fastball struggles here: What Does The Future Hold For The Pittsburgh Pirates Bullpen?
Holmes will now miss the rest of Spring Training, and likely most of April. He will likely be sent to Triple-A Indianapolis for a week or two on rehab since he has only got to pitch 2.1 innings of baseball this spring.
Now that Holmes is out of the picture for the opening day roster, this opens up the door for a handful of other Spring Training invitees. Keone Kela, Kyle Crick, Nick Burdi, Chris Stratton, Robbie Erlin, and Steven Brault are likely locks for the bullpen. This leaves two remaining spots, one of which was likely to be claimed by Holmes.
While the foot fracture is bad news for Holmes, it is good news for some other pitchers. These pitchers include Michael Feliz and Richard Rodriguez, the returning from Tommy John Surgery Edgar Santana, relief pitching prospect Blake Cederlind, and fellow out of options reliever Dovydas Neverauskas. This could also open a spot for Chad Kuhl, if he does not win the final spot in the Pirate starting rotation.