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.
First and foremost, my apologies. There was no Clip Show last week, and the reason for that is a bit embarrassing. It seems your trusty Clip Show reporter managed to break his right leg in a couple of places, and last Tuesday was spent shuttling around Columbus to various doctors’ offices. Wednesday involved leg surgery, and the recovery from that has keep said reporter in a state of bed-riddenness for the past week. So, don’t think too badly of me for not getting back to this until today. If it’s any consolation, I’m forced to write this week’s update from a fully-reclined-with-my-leg-elevated position, which sucks if you’re scoring at home. OK, on to the baseball. The Clippers rebounded from a mini-swoon–and another crazed roster flux–to right the ship and get back onto the winning path, blazing their way 3.5 game lead for overall best record in the IL.
Two Weeks: 9-4
Season Record: 35-16, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)
5/17 vs. Pawtucket, Postponed: Rain
5/18 vs. Pawtucket – Sox 7, Clippers 2; LP Gomez (3-1)
5/18 vs. Pawtucket – Clippers 8, Sox 3; WP Martinez (3-1)
5/19 vs. Pawtucket – Suspended (completed on 5/20)
5/20 vs. Pawtucket – (Completion of 5/19 game) Sox 5, Clippers 2; LP Lewis (3-1)
5/20 vs. Pawtucket – Clippers 3, Sox 0; WP McAllister (7-0)
5/21 vs. Durham – Clippers 11, Bulls 8; WP Kluber (2-3)
5/22 vs. Durham – Clippers 7, Bulls 6; WP Hagadone (1-0)
5/23 vs. Durham – Clippers 3, Bulls 2; WP Gomez (4-1)
5/24 vs. Durham – Clippers 5, Bulls 3; WP Barnes (3-1)
5/26 @ Norfolk – Clippers 5, Tides 1; WP Putnam (3-1)
5/27 @ Norfolk – Clippers 5, Tides 2; WP Kluber (3-3)
5/28 @ Norfolk – Tides 2, Clippers 1; LP Germano (0-1)
5/29 @ Norfolk – Clippers 6, Tides 5; WP Martinez (4-1)
5/30 @ Durham – Bulls 7, Clippers 4; LP Hagadone (1-1)
5/19 2B Kyle Smith added from Lake County
5/20 RHP Frank Herrmann and OF Ezequiel Carrera recalled to Cleveland
5/20 INF Luis Valbuena optioned to Columbus
5/20 LHP Nick Hagadone added from Akron
5/20 LHP Eric Berger sent to Akron
5/21 RHP Josh Judy recalled to Cleveland
5/21 RHP Steven Wright added from Lake County
5/23 RHP Matt Langwell and RHP Marty Popham added from Akron
5/23 RHP Steven Wright sent to Lake County
5/24 RHP Matt Langwell sent to Akron
5/26 RHP Mitch Talbot activated to Cleveland from ML Rehab Assignment
5/26 RHP Marty Popham sent to Akron
5/26 RHP Justin Germano assigned to Columbus
5/26 RHP Josh Judy and OF Ezequiel Carrera optioned to Columbus
5/30 3B Jared Goedert sent to Columbus on ML Rehab Assignment
5/30 OF Josh Rodriguez placed on DL retroactive to 5/27
OF: Ezequiel Carrera, Jerad Head, Chad Huffman
IF: Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Donald, Jared Goedert, Wes Hodges, Jason Kipnis, Cord Phelps, Kyle Smith, Luis Valbuena
C: Luke Carlin, Paul Phillips
SP: Scott Barnes, Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister
RP: Justin Germano (R), Nick Hagadone (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), Josh Rodriguez (groin)
*subject to change
5/31 @Durham, Zach McAllister
6/01 @ Durham, Corey Kluber
6/02 @ Durham, Jeanmar Gomez
6/03 @ Louisville, David Huff
6/04 @ Louisville, Scott Barnes
6/05 vs. Louisville, Zach McAllister
6/06 vs. Louisville, Corey Kluber
Players To Watch – Last 10 Games Edition
How are the kids doing? Some better than others. Since there’s a lot of data to sift through, I’ve decided to go “last 10 games” with everybody. Let’s take a look…
Where else to start but with my man 2B Cord Phelps, who opposing teams simply can’t seem to get out of late. He’s got a 13-game hitting streak going on right now, during which he’s gone 21-for-57 (.368). Beyond that, let’s reprise what we wrote about him two weeks ago: “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.” Need more proof? Add those two stretches together, and over the past 23 games Cord is hitting 34-for-95 (.358). He’s hit in 20 of his last 24 games. He’s driven in 28 runs in his last 22 games. Those are MVP-type numbers, people.
Have to give the man some love. OF Jerad Head continues to flat-out rake. Over his last 10 games, Head is hitting .324 (12-for-37) with five doubles, a homer, six RBI, and five runs scored. For the year, he continues to lead the team in hitting, batting .338 in 41 games with a .938 OPS.
The other second baseman? Well, he’s still hitting too. 2B Jason Kipnis is currently in the midst of his second 10-game hitting streak of the season. And, on top of that? There was only one game between the two streaks. In other words, Kipnis has hit in 20 of his last 21 games, to the tune of 26-for-82 (.317) clip. He’s raised his season average to .293 in48 games, and continues to climb the average back up after a dreadful April start.
The only one of the Golden Three Infielders not destroying the ball right now is 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, who over his last 10 games is plugging along at a .250 clip (10-for-40). Chiz seems to have had the toughest adjustment, as over 48 games (his first in AAA) he’s hitting just .269 with five homers and 26 RBI. His OPS is hovering around .800 (.793 currently), so he’s clearly not quite ready for prime time just yet. Fear not. He’s still just 22.
A guy who’s trying to right the ship has been RHP Corey Kluber. Over his last three starts, Kluber is 3-0, and in two of those starts he was very good, combining for 13.0 innings and just three earned runs (ERA: 2.08). He did only work 5.2 innings in the third start while allowing five earned runs, so it’s not been all great. But, there are signs of improvement for Kluber. He’s now 3-3 on the season, and has lowered his ERA to *gulp* 6.36.
A Quick Word…
…about Zach McAllister. I know we’ve talked about him before in this spot, but because of my spotty coverage of late–and given the dearth of other quality starting prospects currently at Columbus–I wanted to highlight him again. And also, because in a weird ironic twist, part of this Quick Word will fly in the face of the point to be made in “And Finally…” today.
In the three starts since I profiled The Zach Attack, he’s been terrific. He’s pitched 20.0 innings, allowing just two earned runs (ERA: 0.90) on just 11 hits and four walks (WHIP: 0.75) while striking out 18. In a word, McAllister has been an “ACE” this year.
The one weird thing? He earned just one decision in those three starts (a win) and to no-decisions. For the year, McAllister is 7-0, but how strange that in his best three-game stretch of the year–with an offense that scores more runs before 9 AM than most AAA teams score all day–that he came away just 1-0. The even weirder part? Those two no-decisions were McAllister’s only NDs of the year thus far. Cue the other stat below…
Overall, what more can be said about the guy? He’s made nine starts. He’s 7-0 with a 2.29 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting just .223. For a guy who doesn’t have overpowering “stuff,” he’s struck out as many batters (47) as he’s given up hits (47). He’s walked just 10 in 59.0 innings (BB/9IP: 1.53). He’s worked less than six innings just once (his first start), and has allowed more than three runs–earned or unearned–just once (also his first start). That means his last eight starts have all be quality starts.
The only real knock on the guy is that he doesn’t often work more than seven innings, but chalk that up to his age (just 23) and a development curve with respect to a pitch count. I noted last time that I wasn’t sure what kind of a “prospect” McAllister might be, but I think it’s fair to give him the label, considering some of the issues with the pitching staff as a whole for the franchise. Let’s hope he can keep it up. We might look back on last year’s Austin Kearns trade longingly someday.
…here’s my goofy stat of the week (two weeks?): through 51 games, the Clippers have had 20 pitchers make at least one appearance for them, and 165 total appearances between them. Of those 20 pitchers, only five have losing records–all five are 0-1–on the season. Of those five, only one–Justin Germano–is still with the team. The other four? Jess Todd (DFA, claimed by Yankees); Mitch Talbot (recalled off of ML Rehab Assignment); Eric Berger (six appearances out of the pen before being sent back to Akron); and Paolo Espino (two appearances out of the pen before being sent back to Mahoning Valley). In other words, despite some awful numbers, every other pitcher is at or above .500. That’s some good offense!