Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010 Clay Hensley

If you're like me, once in a while a player's numbers just pop out at you when you don't expect them to do so. That happened to me tonight with Clay Hensley.

Fangraphs wrote about his resurgence in mid-June, and a little of what they wrote about him then is worth repeating. Hensley's K/IP of 11.1 per nine leaps off the page; he's tied for 11th in the National league in K/IP for pitchers with 30 or more IP. The key - as Fangraphs points out - is Hensley throwing more off-speed offerings in, including an extremely effective curve that has left batters guessing all season long.

As I pointed out on Thursday, middle relievers can have a good deal of value even in 5x5. If there is a middle reliever in your free agent pool with more than a whiff an inning, chances are he's going to be a good fit for your team (unless he's walking the park as well).

I don't expect Hensley to close this year. Leo Nunez is doing fine, and managers generally have a prejudice against handing the ball to a soft tosser for the last three outs. But Hensley should continue to be a valuable part of the Marlins bullpen and - if you need an arm - he could be a valuable part of yours as well.

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