Clemens to Return

by Michael Egnak on May 6, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


During the New York Yankees' game Sunday, May 6, free-agent starting pitcher Roger Clemens (Astros) announced to Yankee Stadium he would return to the Yankees for the 2007 season. Clemens made the announcement from owner George Steinbrenner's box in the stadium in the middle of the seventh inning.

Now we know where the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, 11-time All-Star and one-time Most Valuable Player will play in 2007. However, we still do not know when he will return to the mound. He is hoping to return before the end of the month, but conceded he might not be ready until early June.

The future Hall of Famer is currently two wins away from 350 for his career. Just to give you an idea of where he stands in baseball history, here is some of the company Clemens keeps. He is 13 wins away from moving up on the career wins list. Former pitcher Kid Nichols, who pitched most of his career with the Boston Beaneaters, is currently tied for sixth on the list with 361 wins; he shares the honor with former starter Pud Galvin, who debuted in 1875 with the St. Louis Brown Stockings of the National Association. A more ambitious goal is 16 wins, which would give Clemens 364 wins to pass former starter Warren Spahn, giving him the most wins for a pitcher in the modern era. Spahn, who missed three seasons because of World War II, earned 363 wins in his 21-year career.

Clemens will likely move into sixth place on the career games started list. With 690 starts, he is currently 10 starts behind former starter Tommy John, who started 700 games in his career. Another milestone he will reach is bases on balls allowed. Currently in 10th place with 1,549 walks, he is just 17 free passes behind former starter Gus Weyhing.

The Yankees receive a much needed reinforcement for their rotation, bringing in one of the greatest pitchers to ever play. With starters Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang now healthy, the Yankees have a rotation of Mussina, Wang, Andy Pettitte and Clemens from the 1 through 4 spots. If starting pitcher Kei Igawa can right himself, he would be the favorite for the fifth spot in the rotation. Pitcher Darrell Rasner is also a candidate for the job with Igawa is pitching poorly.

Fantasy owners will want to pick up Clemens immediately, if he's available, as he appears close to returning to the mound. He should be fine to insert into the starting lineup when he does return, as the extended time off didn't have too much of a negative effect on him in 2006.

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About Michael Egnak

Michael Egnak is a Hot Off The Wire Analyst at KFFL and has been with the company since 2005. Covering both NFL and MLB, Egnak is also a key contributor to KFFL's fantasy services.

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