Mar 3, 2010, 8:26 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
A starter his whole career, Tyler Clippard posted a 2.69 ERA in relief last season.
VIERA, Fla. — A year ago at this time, Tyler Clippard had visions of making the Nationals' Opening Day rotation and realizing his dream of becoming a big-league starting pitcher. When he learned during the final week of camp he not only was being sent back down to Class AAA Syracuse, but also that he would be converted into a reliever, the right-hander was stunned.
Little did Clippard realize at the time how the new role would re-energize his career. After a strong stint at Syracuse, he was called back up to Washington, where he quickly became one of the bullpen's most-trusted members. By season's end, he had posted a 2.69 ERA in 41 appearances, allowing a scant 36 hits in 60 1/3 innings pitched and taking on a high-profile, set-up role.
Now back in camp as a full-time reliever, Clippard doesn't want to rest on his laurels and just assume a roster spot is his. He sat down for an interview earlier today to discuss the successful transition from starter to reliever, why his style of pitching seems to work out of the bullpen and where his recent hole-in-one at a Viera golf course ranksRead more »
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