If there is one thing we’ve learned through the seven years, President of Baseball Operations, Jerry Dipoto has pulled the strings is his propensity to look everywhere for upgrades. He brought Dae Ho Lee over from the Korean Baseball Organization, took on numerous reclamation projects like Paul Sewald, and made 140 trades over his tenure. He continued that trend this week when he selected Chris Clarke, a reliever out of the Chicago Cubs organization.
Chris Clarke Resembles a Member of Los Bomberos
With Erik Swanson residing in Toronto thanks to the Teoscar Hernandez deal, there is a need for additional intriguing arms in the backend of the bullpen. The team has already claimed Gabe Spier and traded for Easton McGee in hopes to augment the group, but Chris Clarke might just be the most talented of the three.
Clarke, a 24-year-old right-hander out of the University of Southern California is imposing standing 6’7” and firing a mid-nineties fastball at a quarter arm slot. According to Baseball America, he is one of the most underrated pitchers in the organization because of his ability to control the zone with an average fastball and plus hammer curveball.
He used those offerings to rack up 110 strikeouts with 25 walks in 120 1/3 innings pitched last season between High-A and Double-A. He’s toiled as a starter for his first three years in professional baseball, but I can see a world where they transition the imposing hurler to the bullpen in hopes for his fastball to play up like the aforementioned, Paul Sewald.
Just a reminder for those who aren’t well-versed in the inner workings of Rule 5 selections. The current rules state Clarke will have to stay on the major league roster all year to remain with the Mariners. If not, he can be offered back to Chicago for $50,000.