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.
The Clippers began this week after a three-game sweep of the rival Louisville Bats. They’d regained first place in their division, and had seven more games coming up in the friendly confines of Huntington Park. Sounded like a recipe for some success. Not so fast, my friends. A five-game losing streak did some damage to the Clippers’ playoff aspirations, as their division lead is now gone again (0.5 games behind Louisville) and they find themselves clinging onto the Wild Card lead by just 2.0 games with just 14 games to go. Take note in the schedule section of the final two meetings of the year between Columbus and Louisville. Those two games will be HUGE. Let’s take a closer look at the Clippers’ week, and check the “Playoff Watch” and “And Finally” sections for a playoff update…
This Week: 2-5
Current Record: 73-57, 2nd place (of four) in ILW (International League West)
8/17 vs. Scranton/WB – Clippers 5, Yankees 1; WP Carrasco (10-5)
8/18 vs. Scranton/WB – Yankees 9, Clippers 2; LP Huff (7-1)
8/19 vs. Scranton/WB – Yankees 9, Clippers 5; LP Stowell (1-1)
8/20 vs. Scranton/WB – Yankees 7, Clippers 5; LP Pino (9-8)
8/21 vs. Toledo – Mud Hens 8, Clippers 4; LP Espino (1-2)
8/22 vs. Toledo – Mud Hens 4, Clippers 2; LP Carrasco (10-6)
8/23 vs. Toledo – Clippers 4, Mud Hens 3; WP Judy (3-0)
Not quite as crazy as weeks-past, but at any rate here’s another week’s litany of roster moves since our last publication:
8/18 – RHP Jess Todd placed on disabled list (retroactive to 8/16)
8/18 – RHP Shane Lindsay activated from disabled list
8/22 – RHP Bryce Stowell placed on disabled list
8/22 – RHP Saul Rivera signed as a free agent
8/24 – RHP Zack McAllister acquired from New York (AL) via trade
8/24 – LHP Eric Berger transferred to Akron
OF: Jordan Brown, Ezequiel Carrera, Jose Constanza, Matt McBride
IF: Jared Goedert, Wes Hodges, Cord Phelps, Argenis Reyes, Josh Rodriguez, Drew Sutton
C: Luke Carlin, Damaso Espino
SP: Carlos Carrasco, Paolo Espino, David Huff, Zach McAllister, Yohan Pino
RP: Josh Judy (R), Jensen Lewis (R), Shane Lindsay (R), Vinnie Pestano (R), Zach Putnam (R), Saul Rivera (R), Carlton Smith (R)
8/24 @ Toledo, Zach McAllister
8/25 @ Toledo, Yohan Pino
8/26 @ Louisville, Paolo Espino
8/27 @ Louisville, Carlos Carrasco
8/28 vs. Indianapolis, David Huff
8/29 vs. Indianapolis, Zach McAllister
8/30 @ Indianapolis, Yohan Pino
Players to Watch:
Not many hitters getting it done of late, so I feel I must mention the work of OF Jose Constanza. He’s currently working on a nine game hitting streak during which time he is 17-for-35 (.486). He has two doubles, a triple, four RBI, nine runs scored, and five stolen bases in that time-span.
One of the few guys to have a good week was OF Ezequiel Carrera, who came over in the Russell Branyan deal with Seattle. He grabbed eight hits in 25 at-bats (.320), including two doubles, and drove in four while also scoring four. Overall, since coming over to Columbus, he’s hitting 29-for-107 (.271) in 28 games for the Clippers.
Newcomer INF Drew Sutton had a solid week for Columbus, and it’s good at least someone did. Sutton went 8-for-21 (.381) with three doubles, a homer, and five RBI. He also scored three runs and drew four walks.
Another sharp week for RHP Vinnie Pestano, who has settled into the closer’s role nicely. He worked two times, and was not scored upon, as he allowed just one hit in 2.0 IP while striking out three. For the season, he’s worked 38 times for 41.1 innings, and has allowed just eight earned runs (ERA: 1.74) while notching 11 saves. He’s allowed 33 hits and walked 12 (WHIP: 1.09), and here’s the best stat: in those 41.1 innings, Pestano has struck out 55 guys.
RHP Josh Judy continues to be a solid option out of the pen, and he worked a decent amount this week and was very good. He made three appearances spanning 5.0 innings, allowed just two hits and two walks, and was only touched for one unearned run. He also whiffed eight.
It’s hard to hate too much on 2B Cord Phelps considering how solid and consistent he’s been since coming up. But, in the midst of all the team struggles, Phelps has been struggling of late as well. In 21 at-bats this week, he had just four hits (.190). He did have a double, three RBIs, and scored three runs.
A lot of cool hitters this week, which is to be expected in a five-game losing streak. OF Matt McBride suffered his first bout of struggle, as he grabbed just four hits in 19 at-bats (.211). He did have a homer and three RBI, and still has good numbers for his time in Columbus.
This week was a continuation of the second half struggle for INF Josh Rodriguez. He was back in action full-time again, but has seen his average dip quite a bit of late. This week he was 4-for-21 (.190) with two doubles, no RBI, and just one run scored. In 34 games since the All Star Break, J-Rod is hitting a miniscule .215 with 28 hits against 37 strikeouts. Not good times.
OF Jordan Brown is back, and has so far not yet provided the stability in the lineup that was hoped for. He’s a mere 5-for-22 (.227) at the dish with a homer and three RBI. Hopefully he can settle in and provide an anchoring presence in the middle of this lineup as they dig for the finish line and hopefully a playoff birth.
Welp, the IL Pitcher of the Week was nice, but short lived. RHP Paolo Espino could not keep his momentum going this week. He worked 4.0 innings in his start, and was rocked to the tune of eight earned runs (ERA: 18.00) on nine hits (three homers), two walks, and just three strikeouts. Espino has now made four starts for Columbus, and is 1-2. He’s worked 23.2 innings and allowed 14 earned runs (ERA: 5.32). He’s walked eight and struck out 17.
Another guy to get roughed up this week was RHP Yohan Pino. He made one start, and worked just 4.2 innings, surrendering six earned runs (ERA: 11.57) on 13 hits while walking one and striking out two.
It was probably time for LHP Eric Berger to head back to Akron, especially with Zach McAllister coming over from the Yankees. The 24-year-old made his fifth and final start on Thursday in front of Tribe GM Mark Shapiro (whom Clip Show had the fortune of running into in the concourse after the game, though Shapiro was clearly on a mission to get somewhere and barely afforded CS a hand shake and a “how ya doin’?” before disappearing into the ether), and did not do anything to impress the Pres. He worked just 4.0 innings, and surrendered five runs—four earned (ERA: 9.00)—before exiting. He allowed 10 hits and walked two (WHIP: 3.00) while striking out just two. In five starts for Columbus, Berger was 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA spanning 24.2 IP.
3B Jared Goedert has been a shadow of himself at the plate for most of the second half, and this week was no different. He went 5-for-20 at the plate with no extra base hits. One of the bright spots was that he did draw five walks (OBP: .333), but other than that there wasn’t much to get excited about. He’s here because the .250 average for the week is probably what we should expect the rest of the way.
You have to give INF Wes Hodges some credit for handling his DFA the way he did. Since coming back after being claimed by Colorado and then DFAd again and having the Tribe reclaim him, he’s hit 19-for-67 in his 17 games back (.284). He’s notched three doubles and three homers, and has scored seven runs. Sadly, all of this is general improvement for Hodges over the numbers he was putting up before his DFA.
As Jacob pointed out, one guy who has been money of late is RHP Carlos Carrasco. He didn’t have the best start this week, but he also got no run support. He worked 7.2 innings and allowed 4 earned runs (ERA: 4.70). However, it’s important to point out that his team didn’t score any runs until the ninth inning, and that Carrasco had held the Mud Hens scoreless into the sixth inning, and left in the eighth after giving up three straight two-out hits to score two more runs. If only he could have just gotten that third out… Most important is that Carrasco looks to be healthy again, and over his last 10 starts overall he’s been solid: 3-3 with a 3.02 ERA (19 ER in 56.2 IP). He has walked just 16 against 54 strikeouts in the span, and has allowed 47 hits (WHIP: 1.11). The best stat? Whereas he had been victimized by the long-ball early in the year, he’s allowed just two homers in those last ten starts, compared to 14 in his previous 14 starts.
A mixed bag this week for the Tweetmeister LHP David Huff. He made two starts, and finished with a combined 0-1 record. He worked 6.0 in the first start, taking the loss while giving up four earned runs (ERA: 6.00) on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. In his second start he was a bit better, with a no-decision after working 7.0 innings and allowing just three earned runs (ERA: 3.86). He allowed seven hits, walked three, and struck out five.
…Columbus needs to right the ship if they want to make the playoffs. They lost 3.0 games to Louisville in the standings this week to lose their division lead, and Buffalo is breathing down their necks for the Wild Card. Here’s a look at the various playoff standings shake out as of right now:
|IL Wild Card||W||L||%||GB|
As we noted above, the Clippers have a HUGE two game series in Louisville this week. Those two games could go a long way to settling the division race, as the magic number effect in each game is double.
And Finally, If The Season Ended Today…
…the playoffs for the Clippers would shape up as follows:
Round 1 (five game series):
9/8 Scranton/WB @ Columbus
9/9 Scranton/WB @ Columbus
9/10 Columbus @ Scranton/WB
9/11 Columbus @ Scranton/WB*
9/12 Columbus @ Scranton/WB*