By: Thomas Yan
In his first ever game of catch, Clay Holmes had the perfect sinker. As a seven-year-old boy, his fingers felt more comfortable along the seams than across them when he touched the ball for the first time. Thus, he could pitch downward with the two-seam grip and hope for a baseball career in the future.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Holmes from Alabama in 2011 and he reached the major leagues after seven years. Despite the urges, Holmes never changed his pitching technique. At Fenway Park, Holmes said, "there were a lot of people that said I should go with a short-arm action, but I went against it because I knew I might lose my sinker. After that, I knew the sinker was going to be my ticket.”
When Major League Baseball announces the pitchers on Sunday, Holmes will surely make his first All-Star team because of his pitch. With 16 saves in 17 chances, Holmes had an average of 0.47 run rate. No home runs were allowed against 142 batters by this indomitable force. Holmes' first season with the Yankees will be capped by the All-Star Game on July 19 at Dodger Stadium.
Like Holmes, the Yankees predicted that his best sinker would make him a star and a successful player. According to General Manager Brian Cashman, "we love anyone who has exceptional characteristics on a specific pitch." In today's business, that's a big deal. Everyone, including his General Manager, will support him for his outstanding pitch.