Tyler Clippard deserves mention in the all-time team

As the lockdown continues, I find myself scrolling through more and more old baseball content. I stumbled upon a website I had never visited before and checked out their Montreal Expos all-time team (which included the Washington Nationals).

On the surface, I’d say the team is probably accurate. The Montreal team was about ten years older than the Washington team, giving them more players to choose from. However, the likes of Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and others have found their way onto this list.

The value of a player to his team goes far beyond stats and WAR, games won and division titles won. A deeper dive into the numbers may give us reason to kick some guys off this list and include others.

There are national players represented in the starting line-up, on the bench and in the starting rotation of this fictional team. As well as two relievers, one of whom spent time in Montreal and Washington.

It was the inclusion of reliever Sean Burnett that shocked me the most.

Former Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard deserves a mention on the franchise’s All-Time Team.

I understand. The egg.com baseball list is an opinion of the staff editors. They can defend their picks however they see fit (they’ve given up rationality though) and I can use that space to promote Tyler Clippard for the team. Aside from the point Burnett is a specialist on the left (do all-time teams mix and match relievers, use analytics when picking his players).

Seven years and 414 games of action, with two All-Star appearances and a 2.68 ERA for his time in Washington, is what Clippard has on his resume. He rose through the ranks to become one of the best high leverage players in the game and earned himself the role of closer for part of the season.

His 2011 season was the highlight of his time with the Nationals. A 1.83 ERA and 0.84 WHIP allowed him to be the closest to the team the following year. Five times he has pitched over seventy games in a season and three campaigns have seen him have a WHIP below one.

Clippard has saved 34 games in his time with the team (while coming the closest to less than a full season) and also won 34 others (nothing fancy about vulture wins, but if you keep statistics, someone has to claim the to earn). A two ERA midfielder while striking better than ten men in nine innings.

Clippard was acquired for Jonathon Albaladejo (who had a forgettable tenure in the big boys) and at the end of his time at the Nationals, traded for Yunel Escobar (who had a solid season in Washington). Clippard was even half the duo of Clipp and Save, with Matt Capps an intriguing combination of late-inning relievers.

Sean Burnett had some good years with the Nationals. However, if we are talking about all-time teams, Tyler Clippard must be included.

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