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.
It was bound to happen, but the Clippers have finally cooled off for a spell. Turns out when you allow 52 runs in seven games, your record won’t be so good. The Clippers are still hitting, but their pitching abandoned them this week, and it showed in the won/lost columns. That said, their record is still 14 games over .500, which is good enough for a 4.0 game lead in their division. Nothing to be alarmed about just yet, unless the pitching doesn’t come back around.
This Week: 2-5
Season Record: 26-12, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)
5/10 vs. Charlotte – Knights 13, Clippers 7; LP Berger (0-1)
5/11 vs. Charlotte – Clippers 9, Knights 7; WP Gomez (3-0)
5/12 vs. Charlotte – Knights 10, Clippers 7; LP Martinez (2-1)
5/13 @ Indianapolis - Indians 9, Clippers 5; LP Huff (3-2)
5/14 @ Indianapolis – Indians 4, Clippers 2; LP Talbot (0-1)
5/15 @ Indianapolis – Indians 7, Clippers 3; LP Putnam (2-1)
5/16 @ Indianapolis – Clippers 5, Indians 2; WP Kluber (1-3)
5/11 INF Jason Donald to 7-day DL
5/11 RHP Frank Herrmann optioned from Cleveland
5/14 RHP Mitch Talbot begins MLB Rehab Assignment
5/16 OF Travis Buck recalled to Cleveland
OF: Ezequiel Carrera, Jerad Head, Chad Huffman, Josh Rodriguez
IF: Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Donald, Wes Hodges, Jason Kipnis, Cord Phelps, Luis Valbuena
C: Luke Carlin, Paul Phillips
SP: Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Mitch Talbot
RP: Scott Barnes (L), Eric Berger (L), Frank Herrmann (R), Josh Judy (R), Jensen Lewis (R), Joe Martinez (R), Zach Putnam (R), Carlton Smith (R)
DL: RHP Hector Ambriz (torn right elbow ligament); OF Nick Weglarz (torn left knee meniscus); INF Nick Johnson (right wrist soreness); RHP Anthony Reyes (torn right elbow ligament); RHP Hector Rondon (torn right elbow ligament), LHP Jeremy Sowers (left shoulder)
*subject to change
5/17 vs. Pawtucket, Jeanmar Gomez
5/18 vs. Pawtucket, David Huff
5/19 vs. Pawtucket, Mitch Talbot
5/20 vs. Pawtucket, Zach McAllister
5/21 vs. Durham, Corey Kluber
5/22 vs. Durham, Jeanmar Gomez
5/23 vs. Durham, David Huff
Players To Watch
How are the kids doing? Some better than others. Let’s take a look…
It looks like some earlier struggles for 2B Cord Phelps were mere blips on the radar. He continued to hit for the second straight week, and over his last 10 games he’s 13-for-38 (.342) to push his season average back to .298 in 34 games played. Phelps also has three homers, three doubles, three walks, 12 RBI, and six runs scored over this 10-game push. This is why he’s the #3 hitter, folks.
The other second baseman? Well, he’s hitting too. 2B Jason Kipnis is currently in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak, during which he’s gone 12-for-37 (.324) to bump his season average up to .280 in 35 games. After a very slow start to the season, this is a very encouraging sign for Kipnis, who’s getting his first consistent action in AAA. During the streak, Kipnis has a homer, three doubles, six RBI, and five runs scored.
Oh, and one more: 3B Lonnie Chisenhall is as hot as anyone, and has hit in 12 of 14 games in May (18-for-55, .327). He also of the very slow start to the year, Chis is coming on at the right time, raising his season average to .279 through 35 games.
It’s a testament to how good these kids have been at the plate that the fourth-best hitter over the last 10 games has been OF Ezequiel Carrera. He’s 12-for-38 (.316) over that span with two homers, three RBI, three walks, three steals, and nine runs scored. He’s been a rock as the leadoff man for this solid offense.
We’re skipping this part for now, as we’re going to touch on pitching as a whole in a moment. Trust me, it ain’t good.
A Quick Word…
…about the pitching staff. At the top, we outlined how many runs the staff has given up in the last seven games. It’s a bit of a disturbing trend, so let’s look at the overall numbers through 38 games.
The bad news? The Clippers are currently third-worst in team ERA to this point through the season. They’re sitting at 4.66 through 38 games, with only two clubs worse than they are: Indianapolis (4.70) and Charlotte (5.30). The difference? Both of those teams have losing records. The Clippers have allowed the second-most hits in the league, and have the worst WHIP in the league. So, how are they surviving?
Obviously, run support is a huge factor in the club’s record (the bats are still notching 6.18 runs per game). But, the other factors? The Clippers’ pitchers have tried to minimize the damage as much as possible. Despite their awful hits-against numbers, they’re tied for sixth-best in home runs allowed, and are middle of the pack in strikeouts. None of this is “good” per se, but it at least lets us know that the Clippers have some positive trends in their pitching.
However, we must go back to the most recent performances, and the signs of late have not been trending in the right direction. Here’s hoping the pitchers can right the ship.
…the Clippers open an eight-game home stand tonight. The weather, however, may have other plans. A quick look at the 10-day forecast lists thunderstorms for six of the next eight nights. Yikes!