Mar 9, 2012, 12:00 PM EST
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Tyler Clippard earned his first All-Star selection last summer.
Rare is the setup man who can boast an ERA under 2.00, a spot on the All-Star team, a double-digit win total, a triple-digit strikeout total and a workload that would make most pitchers' arms drop dead.
Even rarer is the setup man who can sustain that kind of dominance over multiple seasons. Which is precisely why Tyler Clippard wants to be able to put himself in that loftiest of echelons among relief pitchers.
"It's nice," the Nationals right-hander said of the track record he's established over the last two seasons. "It was a goal of mine, to have this kind of success at the big-league level. But I still think it's a small sample size of what I want to do. I mean, I want to be around for a long time. I'm still young — I'm only 27 — and I don't even have three years of service time yet. If you really look at the nuts and bolts of it … yeah, I've done some good things, but there's still a long way to go."
There's arguably no reliever in baseball who can match Clippard's remarkable combination of dominance and endurance the last two years. No one has pitched more than his 179 1/3 innings. Only CubsRead more »
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