Clay has a 6.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 6:2 K:BB through six innings with one hold over six appearances.
The southpaw backed into a spot on the Opening Day roster due to the Nats' COVID-19 outbreak, but aside from a rough outing against the Dodgers on April 10, Clay has pitched well enough to stick around. Helping his case for a bullpen spot is that the team doesn't have any other left-handed relievers on the 26-man roster aside from closer Brad Hand.
The Nationals will recall Clay from their alternate training site ahead of Thursday's season opener against the Mets, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Washington optioned Clay over the weekend, but he'll rejoin the big club on an emergency basis after general manager Mike Rizzo announced Wednesday that the Nationals are expected to be without five yet-to-be-named players for Opening Day due to COVID-19-related concerns. The Nats' decision to call up Clay could indicate that at least one of the two lefty relievers on the roster -- Brad Hand and Luis Avilan -- are among the five players currently in quarantine. Clay isn't expected to see much high-leverage work for the extent of his stint on the active roster.
Clay was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Clay was in the mix for a spot in the bullpen during spring training but will begin the year in the minors. The left-hander posted a 3.12 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 8.2 innings this spring. If he performs well with Triple-A Rochester, Clay could make his major-league debut at some point in 2021.
Clay has made a good first impression on Nationals manager Dave Martinez as he competes for a spot in the bullpen, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports. "He threw today, and he looked really good," Martinez said Wednesday. "He throws a heavy ball. We like him because he [induces] a lot of groundballs. It's got a good mix of pitches, so we're going to keep a close eye on him."
The 27-year-old has yet to make his big-league debut after coming up through the Twins organization, but Clay signed a major-league deal with Washington in the offseason, and the only left-hander currently locked into a bullpen job is closer Brad Hand. Before spending all of 2020 at Minnesota's alternate training site, Clay posted a 3.25 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 72:28 K:BB across 69.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A without allowing a home run. If he does break camp on the big-league roster, he would likely work in middle relief.
Clay signed a major-league contract with the Nationals on Wednesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Clay spent the 2020 season at the Twins' alternate training site after impressing in the minors in 2019. The 27-year-old failed to make the major-league roster, but he'll now have a spot on the Nationals' 40-man roster heading into 2021. The southpaw posted a 3.25 ERA and 72:28 K:BB over 69.1 innings between the Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2019.
Clay was included in Minnesota's 60-man player pool ahead of summer camp before the 2020 season begins, MLB.com reports.
Clay is a mildly surprising addition to the 60-man player pool since he wasn't on the 40-man roster, but he was in big-league camp and showed promise last season in the minors. He had a 9.3 K/9 between Double-A and Triple-A Rochester last season. He'll likely spend time with Minnesota's alternate training site unless the major league bullpen needs depth.
|Last 7 Games|
|05/09||@ NYY||L 2-3||1.0||0||0||0||1|
|05/05||vs ATL||L 3-5||1.0||0||0||0||0|
|04/30||vs MIA||W 2-1||0.1||0||0||0||0|
|04/28||@ TOR||W 8-2||1.0||1||0||1||0|
|04/24||@ NYM||W 7-1||1.0||1||0||1||1|
|04/18||vs ARI||L 2-5||0.2||0||0||0||1|
|04/17||vs ARI||W 6-2||1.0||1||1||0||1|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2015||AFX-Cedar Rapids Kernels||33.1||12||3||0||0||3||0||29||26||36||4.35||1.873|
|2016||AFX-Cedar Rapids Kernels||74.1||14||14||0||5||4||0||83||38||65||3.40||1.390|
|2016||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||41.0||10||10||1||1||3||0||32||29||51||6.80||1.951|
|2017||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||65.0||40||0||0||8||0||9||63||32||42||1.39||1.139|
|2019||AAX-Pensacola Blue Wahoo||46.2||31||1||0||3||3||8||46||18||44||2.73||1.342|
|2019||AAA-Rochester Red Wings||22.2||14||0||0||1||1||2||26||10||26||4.46||1.622|