Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 8/17/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday some Wednesday afternoons for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
Well, after the winning streak ended, the Clippers are treading water a bit. Thankfully, so is pretty much everybody else. The Clippers’ magic number for their division is down to six, and they have a 7.5 game lead for the best record in the league. Not that that last part matters with respect to the playoffs, but even still… considering how much of their roster from the beginning of the season is now in Cleveland, it’s pretty impressive. We’ll have some playoff scenarios later on, but after closing out the week by winning five of six, and barring a monumental collapse (which I’ve now just guaranteed simply by writing about it), your Clippers are most likely bound for the IL Playoffs once again.

This Week: 5-4
Season Record: 79-46, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West) by 14.0 games

Results
8/09 @Louisville – Bats 5, Clippers 2; LP Martinez (7-6)
8/10 vs. Indianapolis – Indians 8, Clippers 1; LP Kluber (6-8)
8/11 vs. Indianapolis – Indians 9, Clippers 1; LP Gomez (10-5)
8/12 “vs.” Rochester  – Clippers 6, Red Wings 3; WP Brach (0-0) – (Completion of game suspended on 6/10/11)
8/12 @ Rochester – Clippers 4, Red Wings 3; WP McAllister (9-3)
8/13 @ Rochester – Clippers 11, Red Wings 7; WP Langwell (1-0)
8/14 @ Rochester – Postponed, rain
8/15 @ Rochester – Clippers 2, Red Wings 0; WP Martinez (8-6)
8/15 @ Rochester – Red Wings 4,Clippers 3; LP Hagadone (4-2)
8/16 @ Pawtucket – Clippers 5, Sox 2; WP Kluber (7-8)

Roster News
8/12 RHP Brett Brach called up from Kinston

8/13 RHP Brett Brach sent to Akron
8/13 RHP Chen-Chang Lee activated from the temporarily inactive list (family funeral in Taiwan)

8/14 LHP David Huff recalled to Cleveland
8/14 RHP Paolo Espino recalled from AkronMitch Talbot added to official roster/outrighted from Cleveland

8/16 OF Shelley Duncan optioned from Cleveland
8/16 OF Tim Fedroff sent down to Akron

OF: Travis Buck, Shelley Duncan, Jerad Head, Chad Huffman, Thomas Neal
IF: Jared Goedert, Nick Johnson, Beau Mills, Cord Phelps, Argenis Reyes, Luis Valbuena
C: Luke Carlin, Paul Phillips
SP: Paolo Espino, Jeanmar Gomez,  Corey Kluber, Joe Martinez, Zach McAllister
RP: Nick Hagadone (L), Josh Judy (R), Matt Langwell (R), Chen-Chang Lee (R), Zach Putnam (R), Mitch Talbot (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), C Dwight Childs (broken hand), LHP Scott Barnes (knee)

Upcoming Schedule/Probables*
*subject to change
8/17 @ Pawtucket, Jeanmar Gomez
8/18 @ Pawtucket, Zach McAllister
8/19 @ Pawtucket, Joe Martinez
8/20 vs. Buffalo, Corey Kluber
8/21 vs. Buffalo, Paolo Espino
8/22 vs. Buffalo, Jeanmar Gomez

Players to Watch

Since two weeks ago we highlighted newcomers, and last week WordPress ate my writeup, we’re just going to do some quick 10-day updates for some players. Trust me, it’s better this way.

Batters

INF Luis Valbuena – settled in now in Columbus, Sweet Luis is generally playing very well. In his last 10, he’s 11-for-39 (.282) with two home runs, 11 RBI, three runs scored, and a .364 OBP. In 101 games on the season, he’s hitting .299 with 16 homers and 71 RBI.

INF Cord Phelps – finally back to his old self after his rough stint in Cleveland, Phelps has been hitting well of late. In his last 10, he’s hitting 13-for-43 (.302) with four doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He’s driven in six, and has scored six. For the season in in 90 games, he’s hitting .297 with 12 homers and 58 RBI while sporting a .382 OBP.

OF Jerad Head – one of the constant pleasant surprised in this year’s lineup, Head has been a bit below his average of late, hitting just .268 in his last 10 games. He does have three doubles, three home runs, and six RBI while also scoring seven runs. For the season in 104 games, he’s hit .285 with 23 bombs and 69 RBI.

1B Beau Mills – Mills has settled in nicely after some early struggles, and in his last 10 is hitting a robust .324 with a double, two home runs, and five RBI. He’s also scored five times and is sporting a .410 OBP during that span. Now through 19 games in Columbus, he’s hitting a respectable .267 with three home runs and seven RBI. It would be good to see him hit for a bit more power, however.

3B Jared Goedart – it’s almost like a light switch went on for Goedart, who has been raking for quite some time of late. Struggling to stay over the Mendoza Line for most of the early part of his return to Columbus, Goedart’s last 10 have him hitting .394 with four doubles, a homer, and three RBI. For the season, he’s raised his average almost 60 points in the last three weeks or so, not up to .257 in 60 games. His eight home runs and 20 RBI, however, are still lacking.

Pitchers

RHP Zach McAllister – McAllister has been decent in his last 10 starts, going 2-1 with a 3.47 ERA spanning 59.2 innings. He has struck out 48 against 12 walks in that span, though hitters have been hitting at a .273 clip against him in those starts. For the year, he’s 9-3 in 22 starts with a 3.27 ERA spanning 134.2 innings.

RHP Jeanmar Gomez – despite some solid numbers, Gomez has been a tough-luck loser a few times over his last 10. He’s 4-4 with a 2.62 ERA, but has lost four times while giving up just 11 earned runs in those starts. He’s struck out 49 in his last 10 starts, but the walks have crept up with 22. His old nemesis the home run has also crept back in, with six in his last 10 starts compared to just two in his previous nine. In 19 starts, he’s 10-5 with a 2.45 ERA across 128.2 innings.

LHP Nick Hagadone – ever the enigma, Hagadone’s raw numbers continue to get better, but the last 10 times out tell an interesting story. He’s 1-1 with two saves in those appearances, which cover 16.1 total innings. The issue is that his ERA is deceiving: he’s sporting a 2.20 ERA over that time. That comes from just four earned runs allowed. The issue? 10 runs have actually scored during that time. For the year in Columbus, he’s worked 28 times over 40.2 innings, with a 3.32 ERA. However, he’s allowed seven additional unearned runs over that span.

A Quick Word…

…about the playoffs. I’m embracing it, curses be damned!

Thanks to reader/commenter tolbuck, I’ve learned an interesting nugget of information that I didn’t know: “The Clippers will face either the Bulls or the Braves. The West Division champ always faces the South champion, and the winner of the North always faces the Wild Card. This is a concession made since the North has 6 teams and the others have 4, and it means the North champ always has home field advantage in the first playoff round.” This is tremendously informative, and I’m a bit embarrassed that I didn’t already know this. Lesson learned!

So, let’s take a quick look at the rest of the IL standings. In the IL North, Pawtucket (Red Sox) is at 70-53, and has surged ahead by one game over Lehigh Valley (Phillies) at 70-55. The Iron Pigs currently lead the Wild Card. In the South, it’s still Durham (Rays) leading the way at 70-52, and Gwinnett has slipped back to 4.0 games behind at 67-57.

If the season ended today…
Round 1:
Durham @ Columbus
Lehigh Valley @ Pawtucket

And Finally…

…after attending the funeral of his grandfather back in Taiwan, RHP Chen-Chang Lee is back with the club. This is a good thing, as he’d been there best right-handed reliever previous to his excused absence.

  • SummitOmar

    How is Thomas Neal doing? Do you think he could be an option next year if the Indians don’t bring back Grady?

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    He honestly hasn’t played a ton, and I don’t really know if it’s enough to make any kind of judgment just yet. He’s played in seven games, and is 5-for-24 so far. He was hitting .295 in 60 games before the trade, however.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    The team announced this morning that Neal’s actually headed to the 7-day DL, which would explain his lack of play.