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.
At last, we’ve come to the end of the road for Da Clip Show in 2010, but what an end of the road it is! The Clippers surprised everyone—myself included (seriously, go back and look at BOTH my series predictions)—in eviscerating both opponents on their way to winning the Governor’s Cup as IL Champs. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the final record and score totals for the playoffs: 6-2 record; Clippers 59, Opponents 24. That’s a beatin’! Now, join us as we wrap up the Governor’s Cup series and take a look back at 2010 for the Clippers!
This Week: 3-1
Results: Beat Durham to win the Governor’s Cup (IL Championship)
9/14 vs. Durham – Clippers 18, Bulls 5; WP Huff (1-0)
9/15 vs. Durham – Clippers 4, Bulls 0; WP McAllister (1-0)
9/16 @ Durham – Bulls 3, Clippers 2; LP Judy (0-1)
9/17 @ Durham – Clippers 13, Bulls 2; WP Espino (2-0)
There was just one move this week after the championship: LHP Aaron Laffey was recalled to Cleveland. Otherwise, this is the roster taking on Tacoma tonight:
OF: Ezequiel Carrera, Jose Constanza, Jerad Head, Matt McBride
IF: Jared Goedert, Wes Hodges, Jason Kipnis, Cord Phelps, Argenis Reyes, Josh Rodriguez
C: Luke Carlin, Damaso Espino
SP: Paolo Espino, David Huff, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Yohan Pino
RP: Josh Judy (R), Vinnie Pestano (R), Zach Putnam (R), Saul Rivera (R), Carlton Smith (R), Jess Todd (R)
AAA Championship Game
9/21 – vs. Tacoma (in Oklahoma City), 8:05 PM – TV: Versus
Ryan Feierabend (4-7, 5.30 ERA regular season; 1-0 1.13 ERA playoffs) vs.
David Huff (8-2, 4.36 ERA regular season; 1-0, 1.93 ERA playoffs)
IL Playoffs Review
Let’s take a quick look at some of the individual performances in the series:
First and foremost, it’s hard to give anyone less than a “Good” rating after the way the Clippers dismantled Durham in the Finals. Take a gander:
The Less Good
Hard to be too mad at anyone, but Luke Carlin definitely took a tiny step back, though he did well from the #8 spot in the lineup:
Overall Playoff Stats
A lot of good things from the Durham series, and when you put everything together you see a team that played almost out of its mind for eight straight games. To wit (starting hitters only):
Look at those numbers. When your starting pitching goes 54.2 innings with a 1.48 ERA in eight games, that’s unbelievable… especially when you look at the regular season numbers. One has to tip one’s cap to Charlie Nagy, because whatever he was preaching in the playoffs was working like a charm. Zach McAllister (5.29 ERA) and Yohan Pino (5.75 ERA) were the two candidates for biggest surprise in the playoffs. Other than Aaron Laffey’s and Carlton Smith’s struggles in garbage time of two wins, the staff from top to bottom was lights-out.
And, when you have hitting like the Clippers did in these eight games, you have margin for error from the pitching… though the Clippers didn’t need it. Some of the highlights included Jared Head, who the opponents simply couldn’t get out; Head led the team with a .444 average and 11 RBI. Wes Hodges had a great playoffs as well, with a solid average, three home runs, and 10 RBI. But really, top to bottom, this lineup flat-out got it done in the playoffs, with only two hitters under .290 in the playoffs. One of the biggest bright spots was the collective team patience at the plate, which worked the opposing pitching staffs and provided lots of extra base runners to drive in.
Quick Year in Review
Unlike last year when we did a comprehensive review of guys that were destined for Cleveland, since most of the guys destined for Cleveland are already there we’ll instead provide some Clip Show awards and a quick look ahead to next year’s lineup which should be pretty solid yet again (assuming the Indians don’t again have to raid the roster…).
This isn’t one I’m making up; it was decided! OF Jose Constanza is the Team MVP for 2010. One of only three hitters on the roster now that was here on opening day, Constanza hit .319 to finish second in the IL batting race. He played in 113 games, scored 69 runs, drove in 32, and stole 34 bases in 40 attempts. Ever the character, Constanza became a fan favorite in my section every time he headed out to right field to play defense.
Doing More With Less Award
This one goes to manager Mike Sarbaugh and pitching coach Charlie Nagy. Consider that, of the opening day roster, only six players were on the final post-season roster: Constanza, INF Wes Hodges, C Damaso Espino, RHP Yohan Pino, RHP Jess Todd (who made some trips to Cleveland along the way), and RHP Saul Rivera (who was DFA’d early in the year and then came back late as a pickup). And this team somehow won the championship? It’s a testament to the continuity of attitude and approach from the staff, especially when one looks at how the Clippers struggled in August and limped into the playoffs. For Sarbaugh, it’s another chip on his already-stellar minor league managing resume: he’s now managed for eight seasons in Cleveland’s organization, and has won four championships, including one each at high-A, AA, and AAA: 2004 in Mahoning Valley, 2006 in Kinston, 2009 in Akron, and now 2010 in Columbus. I’m not saying that he should be the Tribe’s manager, but if Manny Acta falters and the Tribe wants to look internally, clearly Sarbaugh knows how to win and how to get the most from young players. And, as I mentioned above, Charlie Nagy gets a nod for his work with a staff in transition all season. He lost his three or four best starting pitchers this season (Rondon, Gomez, Tomlin, and Carrasco) at vaious points, and still his staff brought home the hardware.
Star on the Rise Award
This goes to 2B Cord Phelps. Called up to Columbus in June after hitting .296 in 53 games in Akron, Phelps hit the ground running in Columbus. In 74 games (including playoffs), Phelps hit .316 (87-for-275), hit seven home runs, drove in 36, and got on base at a .386 clip. Phelps turns 24 in January, and could have a legitimate shot to make the Tribe out of spring training if he picks up where left off. At any rate, Jason Donald, Jayson Nix, et al had better be looking over their shoulders.
Consummate Professional Award
This goes to INF Wes Hodges, who saw his stock fall from “3B Prospect” to “1B/DH” to “DFA” in the span of about 18 months in Columbus. On July 27th, Hodges was designated for assignment and claimed off of waivers by Colorado. Hodges underwhelmed with the Clippers in 2009, hitting just .265 in 86 games. Even more troubling was the complete disappearance of his power numbers, as he notched just five home runs, drove in 38, and slugged a meager .383. Willing to give him a pass due to injury, 2010 became a put-up-or-shut-up year for Hodges, and he did nothing to rekindle the flame of prospect status. Through 94 games, he was hitting just .270 with nine homers and 47 RBI and a still-low .423 slugging number. His fielding at third had gotten so bad that he was primarily playing first base or DHing before his DFA. And then Colorado had to put him on waivers to make a roster move of their own, and the Tribe brass snatched him back up and he headed back to Columbus. In 39 games back with Columbus through August and September—including the playoffs—Hodges was the consummate pro, hitting .277 (44-for-159) with nine home runs, and 23 RBI. Hodges was solid in the playoffs, and never griped about his DFA.
Where Did That Come From? Award
This goes to Jared Goedert and his surprising 20 home runs in 81 games. Add in the seven in 44 games in Akron, and that’s a 27 HR season. Considering Goedert’s previous high in home runs was 20 in 2007 between Lake County and Kinston, and he hit a combined 15 in 2008 and 2009 between Kinston and Akron, I have to say I wouldn’t have predicted these kinds of power numbers from Goedert. It remains to be seen if Goedert is really a true third base prospect for the Tribe in 2011 or not, but it was a pleasant surprise none the less.
Let’s Look Ahead
Columbus has a good problem going into 2011. There aren’t a ton of holes to be filled with young players up in Cleveland in 2011, so a lot of these young players will be back in Columbus again to defend their title. These are just projections and for some positions a stable of available players to choose from, based on where the roster is and expectations of who might be coming back from Cleveland as well as who might be coming up Akron.
C – Luke Carlin, Lou Marson
1B – Drew Sutton, Wes Hodges
2B – Cord Phelps, Jason Kipnis
SS – Josh Rodriguez
3B – Jared Goedert, Lonnie Chisenhall
OF – Ezequiel Carrera, Jose Constanza, Jerad Head, Matt McBride, Nick Weglarz
SP – Eric Berger, Paolo Espino, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Yohan Pino, Hector Rondon, Alex White
RP – Rob Bryson, Connor Graham, Josh Judy, Shane Lindsay, Vinnie Pestano, Bryan Price, Zach Putnam, Jess Todd, Steven Wright
The Clippers, Chris Antonetti, and company are going to have some tough choices to make.
Tune in tonight on Versus at 8:00 to see the Clippers go for inter-stellar AAA domination against the Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners’ AAA) in the AAA National Championship game in Oklahoma City. We’ll see you in April!