Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
After a nice break for the AAA All Star game, the Clippers got back in action on Thursday. So far, they’re heading back in the right direction with three wins in fives games. The boys in blue now have an 8.5 game lead over Indianapolis (magic# = 40, hehehe) and with a win over Durham on Monday have a 1.5 game lead over the Bulls for the IL’s best record. Let’s take a closer look at the Clippers’ return to action…
This Week: 3-2
Current Record: 58-38, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)
7/15 @ Norfolk – Clippers 6, Tides 1; WP Carrasco (8-4)
7/16 @ Norfolk – Tides 12, Clippers 9; LP Sowers (1-5)
7/17 @ Norfolk – Tides 4, Clippers 0; LP Tomlin (8-4)
7/18 @ Norfolk – Clippers 1, Tides 0; WP Huff (4-0)
7/19 @ Durham – Clippers 8, Bulls 3; WP Pino (8-5)
The team made a few moves this week to help solidify the roster. First, with a glut of infielders needing every-day PT, Brian Bixler was traded to Pittsburgh on 7/12, and the move was finalized in Columbus with the addition of OF Ezequiel Carrera from Seattle on 7/15. RHP Jensen Lewis was recalled to Cleveland on 7/17. As you know, RHP Jeanmar Gomez was called up to Cleveland to make his ML Debut on Sunday, and then immediately returned to Columbus. RHP Jess Todd got the recall to Cleveland on Monday. Also on Sunday, two final moves were made: RHP Zach Putnam was transferred from Akron, and INF Justin Toole was transferred from Kinston.
OF: Jordan Brown, Ezequiel Carrera, Jose Constanza, Nick Weglarz
IF: Jared Goedert, Wes Hodges, Cord Phelps, Josh Rodriguez, Justin Toole, Luis Valbuena
C: Lou Marson, Wyatt Toregas
SP: Carlos Carrasco, Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Yohan Pino, Josh Tomlin
RP: Justin Germano (R), Josh Judy (R), Vinnie Pestano (R), Zach Putnam (R), Carlton Smith (R), Jeremy Sowers (L), Bryce Stowell (R)
7/20 @ Durham, Carlos Carrasco
7/21 @ Durham, TBA
7/22 @ Durham, Josh Tomlin
7/23 vs. Pawtucket, Jeanmar Gomez (see also: And Finally… below)
7/24 vs. Pawtucket, David Huff
7/25 vs. Pawtucket, Yohan Pino
7/26 vs. Pawtucket, Carlos Carrasco
*subject to change
Players to Watch:
The Clippers’ dynamic infield combo of Cord Phelps, Jared Goedert, and Josh Rodriguez, gets a giant thumbs-up for this week. Here are the lines:
Phelps: 5 games 10-for-16 (.625); 1 2B; 1 3B; 1 RBI; 6 R; 5 BB (.714 OBP)
Goedert: 5 games 5-for-20 (.250); 3 2B; 1 HR (.550 SLG); 1 RBI; 3 R; 4 BB (.375 OBP)
Rodriguez: 5 games 7-for-23 (.304); 1 2B; 6 RBI; 2 R; 2 BB (.360 OBP)
And this is probably one of Goedert’s worst “weeks” since coming up to Columbus.
Another deserving thumbs up this week goes to Big Red OF Nick Weglarz. After scuffling to hit for average and for pop, Weglarz is slowly starting to get comfortable at AAA. In five games this week, he went 8-for-18 (.444) at the dish with a homer, three doubles, and two RBI. Weglarz has been a different hitter in July. Through 29 games in May and June he was hitting just .235 (24-for-102). However, in 14 July games, he’s 20-for-52 (.385). He’s almost doubled his hit total in half the games and ABs. Always noted for his patience, Weglarz has had a solid OBP throughout his entire stay at AAA (.385), but has been especially good in July as well with a .458 OBP in the month. Finally, he’s starting to drive the ball a bit better, with three of his four homers coming in July, and an overall slugging percentage of .673 for the month.
Not a great week in terms of average, but certainly not a horrible one for Jordan Brown. In 23 at bats, Brown managed six hits (.261) with a homer, three doubles, and six RBI. Through 58 games, Brown has his average back hovering around .300 (66-for-225, .293) with four homers and 47 RBI.
A good bounce-back for lefty David Huff this week. Huff worked 7.0 scoreless innings on Sunday to earn his fourth win in five starts (4-0) since being sent down to Columbus. Huff allowed just two hits and walked three while also fanning three. Aside from his one lousy start prior to the break, Huff has been nearly untouchable. In his four wins, he’s worked 25.2 innings and allowed just three earned runs (1.05 ERA).
Also with another solid start this week is Carlos Carrasco. He brought the Clippers out of the break with a brilliant 7.0 inning effort on Thursday. He allowed one unearned run with just two hits and one walk, while whiffing six. Carrasco also deserves credit for trimming his ERA a little bit as the season’s worn on, as he’s now sitting at 4.10 through 18 starts and 109.2 innings, which thus far is an improvement from his 4.64 ERA in AAA last year as a 22-year-old.
Two newcomers get some love: in five combined appearances for Bryce Stowell and Zach Putnam, they’ve combined for 8.0 innings of scoreless work. Stowell has worked 6.0 innings in four appearances, and has allowed just two hits, walked three, and fanned eight. Putnam has just one appearance, and worked 2.0 innings while allowed just two hits, walking no one, and fanning 3 himself.
I almost feel bad for putting him here every week, but Lou Marson gets another thumbs down this week after going 3-for-15 (.200), although that does raise his season average to .161 in 26 games.
Definition of a thumbs-sideways week: Wes Hodges. In five games, Hodges went 5-for-19 (.263) with no extra base hits, one RBI, three runs scored, and two walks. Meh.
A bit of a sideways move for Josh Tomlin. The righty turned in a quality start (7.0 IP, 3 ER), but took the loss while getting no run support. The thumbs sideways comes mainly from being unable to keep Norfolk in the yard, as all three earned runs came via the long ball. Of his six hits surrendered, three of them were homers.
It was a quality start–and a win on the stat sheet–but it wasn’t super impressive for Yohan Pino this week. In 6.0 innings, he allowed three runs (4.50 ERA), scattered five hits and two walks, and struck out two. He also allowed two home runs.
A Quick Word…
…about Jeanmar Gomez. Since he didn’t make a start in Columbus this week, he’s not really listed above. But, considering how good he looked for the big club on Sunday, he deserves a quick word. He threw 7.0 innings on Sunday, allowing just two runs—neither of them earned—to record the win. That performance, while it was just one start, is indicative of why the organization is high on this kid.
And, it’s most important to remember that: he’s just a kid at this point. He’s 22 (as of February) and has spent the entire year at AAA, after spending the entire year at age 21 at AA last year. He threw a perfect game last year, as you may recall. At 6-8 with a 5.70 ERA in 18 starts with the Clippers, it’s hard to say that Gomez has done anything more than struggle at the AAA level this year, but it’s important to remember the caveat about his age. And as Team Jacob pointed out last week, Gomez’s last two starts before his promotion were anything but good, with a combined 11 earned runs in 10.1 innings.
However, prior to that, Gomez had a stretch of four starts that also showed why the team is high on his future. He had clearly done some work and had managed to right some things that were troubling him (namely, bases on balls) throughout the season, and put together a great last-half-of-June:
Hard to find much to argue with, there. The main difference was that Gomez was able to get both his fastball and his devastating (when it’s good) changeup over for strikes. And, that’s what we saw on Sunday against Detroit as well.
I don’t know what Gomez’s immediate future holds with the organization. I’d say they don’t want to rush him, but with the dearth of arms ready to step into a weak rotation (that may be getting weaker as Jake Westbrook is probably not around in 2011), it’s not outside the realm of possibility for Gomez to have a shot at a fifth spot, especially with the continued injury to the other wunderkind in the system Hector Rondon. Rondon will almost certainly need to repeat in AAA in 2011, and while the smart money says that Gomez should too, he showed on Sunday that he’s got a chance to force himself into the equation perhaps sooner rather than later.
…an interesting scheduling quirk for the Clippers and the Paw Sox on Friday. A suspended game (rain) from June 20th will be completed on Friday July 23rd. Huntington Parks’ gates will open at 5:00 PM and the suspended game will resume at 5:35 PM in the Top of the 6th inning. The regularly scheduled game will begin after at least a 20 minute intermission after the completion of the suspended game.