Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 6/21/2011

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 hottest team in baseball? Your Columbus Clippers. They have now won 12 out of 13, and sit 25 games above .500. They have a divisional lead of 7.5 games, and a league lead of 4.5 games. The pitching has continued to be solid, allowing just 14 runs in 6 games (2.33 rpg). The offense continues to hum, scoring 26 runs in those same six games (4.33 rpg)… and that includes being shutout in their only loss. In short, the past two weeks have been some of the best Columbus has played since I’ve been following them, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

This Week: 5-1
Season Record: 48-23, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

Results
6/14 @ Buffalo Clippers 7, Bisons 3; WP Barnes (5-1)
6/16 @ Scranton/WB
Clippers 8, Yankees 1; WP Martinez (6-2)
6/17 @ Scranton/WB – Clippers 6, Yankees 5; WP Kluber (4-4)
6/18 @ Scranton/WB – Yankees 4, Clippers 0; LP Gomez (6-2)
6/19 @ Scranton/WB – Clippers 2, Yankees 0; WP Huff (5-2)
6/20 vs. Toledo – Clippers 3, Mud Hens 1; WP Barnes (6-1)

Roster News
6/17 3B Lonnie Chisenhall to DL (concussion)

6/18 OF Donnie Webb activated from DL

6/20 INF Jason Donald promoted from Akron
6/20 OF Donnie Webb sent to Akron

6/21 OF Josh Rodriguez traded to Pittsburgh

OF: Ezequiel Carrera, Shelley Duncan, Jerad Head, Chad Huffman
IF: Jason Donald, Jared Goedert, Nick Johnson, Jason Kipnis, Luis Valbuena
C: Luke Carlin, Paul Phillips
SP: Scott Barnes, Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister
RP: Justin Germano (R), Nick Hagadone (L), Josh Judy (R), Jensen Lewis (R), Joe Martinez (R), Zach Putnam (R), Carlton Smith (R)

DL: RHP Hector Ambriz (torn right elbow ligament); RHP Anthony Reyes (torn right elbow ligament); RHP Hector Rondon (torn right elbow ligament), LHP Jeremy Sowers (left shoulder), 3B Lonnie Chisenhall (concussion)

Upcoming Schedule/Probables*
*subject to change
6/21 vs. Toledo, Zach McAllister
6/22 @ Toledo, Corey Kluber
6/23 @ Toledo, Jeanmar Gomez
6/24 vs. Gwinnett, David Huff
6/25 vs. Gwinnett, Scott Barnes
6/26 vs. Gwinnett, Zach McAllister
6/27 vs. Gwinnett, Corey Kluber

Players To Watch
How are the kids doing? Let’s take a look…

Hitters

We’ll lead off with a guy who has been hitting very well of late. 2B Jason Kipnis continued a torrid stretch, going 7-for-22 (.318) this week with a double, two triples, a homer, and four RBI. Over his last 10 games, he’s hitting .400 (16-for-40) with a double, three triples, three home runs, and nine RBI. He’s also scored 10 runs over that span, and got on base almost half of his plate appearances (.478 OBP). His OPS over the 10-game stretch is a blistering 1.278. For the season, Kipnis has raised his average to .295 with eight homers and 42 RBI in 67 games.

A week after leading off this section, we have to put the breaks on Sweet Luis. INF Luis Valbuena has cooled off quite a bit, with just three hits in 20 ABs his week (.150) with no extra base hits and just one RBI and run scored. His season average dipped 15 points for .318 to .303 through 61 games in Columbus.

Once a prospect? It has been a rough year for 3B Jared Goedert. Injured out of the gate, he’s found his way back to Columbus, where last summer he provided a spark at third base to help propel the Clippers to a title. This year? He just hasn’t found his groove. In 19 games, he’s hitting just .227 with three homers and eight RBI. His .731 OPS is not something you’d like to see from a corner infielder. He may have reached his ceiling, as after having a hot start last summer he’s been cool for the last few months of his AAA career. Maybe the pitchers are adjusting to him…

Another solid week for OF Ezequiel Carrera, who went 8-for 27 (.296) and is hitting .333 over his last 10 games. He hit two doubles this week, drove in two, and scored five times. He also swiped three more bases without being caught to bring his season total to 25 steals in 29 tries. In 61 games, he’s hitting .287 with a .370 OBP out of the lead-off spot, which is exactly what an offense needs to make it go.

Pitchers

Not DL-worthy, but apparently nursing… RHP Zach McAllister got back out there, 11 days after his previous start. He pitched well, though not for very long. He worked just 4.0 innings in his start on Thursday (thus not qualifying for the win), allowing no runs on two hits and a walk while striking out three.

After being named the IL’s pitcher of the week, RHP Jeanmar Gomez turned in his worst start in quite some time. After allowing just six earned runs in his previous five starts, Gomez was touched for four earned runs in 7.0 innings (ERA: 5.14). He didn’t walk a batter, but surrendered seven hits–including a home run–to allow the four runs. He did strike out seven.

Speaking of IL Pitchers of the Week, look everybody, it’s LHP David Huff! The Tweet-meister himself earned IL Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of 6/13-6/19 by making two starts, going 2-0, and allowing just one run over 14.0 innings (ERA: 0.64). He scattered eight hits, walked NONE, and struck out 14. Sadly, Twitter was silent.

LHP Nick Hagadone made two appearances, and has kind of leveled off from the feast or famine, at least for one week. He worked a combined 2.2 innings and allowed just one earned run (ERA: 3.38), including his second appearance which was a perfect inning with a strikeout. Overall, he allowed just two hits, walked none, and had that strikeout. His AAA ERA through 13.0 innings is still an ugly 6.92. Here’s hoping he can bring that down.

And finally amongst the pitchers, I have to give mention to LHP Scott Barnes. The 23-year-old lefty started the year in Akron, and because of injuries and call-ups was moved up to Columbus fairly early in the season. He was originally thought of as a bit of a tweener, but for Columbus he’s been a starter, starting in 11 of his 12 appearances. And all he’s done so far through that span is go 6-1 with a 3.53 ERA. He’s worked 63.2 innings, and allowed 56 hits while walking 29 (WHIP: 1.34). Not eye-popping, but what is are his 71 strikeouts. Even better is that right-handed hitters are hitting worse off of him (.228) than are lefties (.250). I’m not sure what the plans are for Barnes, but he’s been a surprise nice addition to have this season so far.

A Quick Word…

…about 3B Lonnie Chisenhall. As you may have noticed above, he’s on the DL with a concussion. Here’s the low-down: he suffered the injury on June 11th sliding into third base in Buffalo, and hasn’t played since. The team hoped to keep him off the DL, but finally relented when he couldn’t play, moving him there Friday the 17th. In AAA, the DL is not as rigid as in the majors, and the club is hoping he can play on Wednesday.

“We’re following the Major League guidelines on concussions with him,” manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “If everything goes as planned, I think he’ll be ready to go on Wednesday.”

So, Chisenhall is struggling at the plate, and now has missed almost two weeks. It has not been the season planned by many for the kid, as some were projecting him to be manning third in Cleveland by now. For the season, Chisenhall is hitting .250 in 60 games, and was slumping hard before the injury, going just 6-for-39 over his last 10 games (.154). He also has seven errors in 54 games at third in the field, and a .953 fielding percentage.

Just remember: he’s still only 22.

And Finally…

…another bump in a tumultuous road this year for OF Josh Rodriguez. The Tribe traded him back to Pittsburgh today. JRod has seen plenty of I-70 this year, as he started the season in Pittsburgh after being claimed in the Rule 5 draft last winter. The Pirates DFA’d him back in May, at which time the Tribe organization picked him back up off of waivers. Now, it’s back to Pittsburgh. An infielder last year in Columbus, he was forced mainly to the outfield with the Clippers this year with the arrival of Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall to go with Cord Phelps. Rodriguez did play some third base this week with Chisenhall out with a concussion.

  • swimmer

    Good for the Clippers. Now, I think I’ll listen to the Indians on Columbus radio. Oh yeah, I forgot, there is no Cols radio station broadcasting the Indians. We have the Indians’ Triple AAA Team in Columbus, BUT NO RADIO!!!