On Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers found themselves in such a deep hole that they spared their bullpen from unnecessary strain and plucked stand-in pitchers wherever they could find them.
Down 11-0 to the White Sox in the top of the eighth inning, the Tigers turned to utility player Kody Clemens, whom they had recently called up from the minors.
Though the son of legendary MLB ace Roger Clemens, Kody typically plays every position except pitcher. Fair or unfair, he strode to the mound on Wednesday with high expectations, considering his family tree.
He didn’t meet them.
In one inning, he surrendered one earned run on four hits and a walk. Though he threw 10 strikes, his fastest pitch topped out at 49.7 MPH. In other words, Kody was basically throwing BP. Take a look:
Kody Clemens ain’t the pitcher his father was pic.twitter.com/0zySAjyEJl
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) June 15, 2022
Hardly an impressive Major League pitching debut, but then he’s not a pitcher. And he allowed just one run. The previous pitchers — guys paid millions of dollars to keep opponents from scoring — gave up 11. So we’ll give Kody a pass.
At least as far as pitching goes. So far in the Bigs, he hasn’t done much at the plate either. He has an average of just .087 and an on-base percentage of .160. Now he has a 9.00 ERA to boot.
So he’s struggling for now, but at just 26, he still has plenty of time to come into his own. Plus, he already has his first Major League hit, a solid single to right field:
It's the first Major League knock for Kody Clemens! pic.twitter.com/HAbgDu9UKt
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 13, 2022
So he has potential.
Now, let’s look back and remember some of Papa Roger’s glory days: