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.
Holy crap! Unlike last season in which some “roster turnover growing pains” slowed the Clippers’ playoff roll around this time of year, apparently this year’s club is refusing to let that same swoon go down. In the midst of a nine-game winning streak, the Clippers’ magic number to win their division is now down to 15, with a 13.5 game lead with 28 games remaining. They also have a 8.0 game lead for the best record in the IL. During this streak, it’s been both the bats and the arms carrying the team. When their pitchers struggle, the bats pick them up. Likewise, when the bats aren’t the sharpest, the arms hold it down. They won close games (five during the streak are 1-run wins), and they still outscored their opponents 58-38 during the streak. Chris Antonetti needs to somehow sign manager Mike Sarbaugh to some kind of a long-term contract, possibly as the Tribe’s full-time hitting coach. The guy is MONEY.
This Week: 6-0
Season Record: 74-42, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West) by 13.5 games
8/02 vs. Norfolk – Clippers 5, Tides 4; WP Judy (5-2)
8/04 vs. Syracuse – Clippers 5, Chiefs 2; WP Martinez (7-5)
8/05 vs. Syracuse – Clippers 7, Chiefs 5; WP Kluber (6-7)
8/06 vs. Syracuse – Clippers 5, Chiefs 4; WP Judy (6-2)
8/07 vs. Syracuse – Clippers 6, Chiefs 4; WP Talbot (1-1)
8/08 @Louisville – Clippers 11, Bats 3; WP Huff (9-3)
8/03 RHP Paolo Espino sent to Akron
8/04 OF Travis Buck assigned from Cleveland
8/06 LHP David Huff optioned from Cleveland
8/06 RHP Mitch Talbot added to official roster/outrighted from Cleveland
8/06 OF Thomas Neal added via trade from San Francisco (Orlando Cabrera trade)
8/07 RHP Chen-Chang Lee on the temporarily inactive list (attending a family funeral in Taiwan)
OF: Travis Buck, Tim Fedoroff, 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: Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Corey Kluber, Joe Martinez, Zach McAllister
RP: Justin Germano (R), Nick Hagadone (L), Josh Judy (R), Matt Langwell (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)
*subject to change
8/09 @ Louisville, Joe Martinez
8/10 vs. Indianapolis, Corey Kluber
8/11 vs. Indianapolis, Jeanmar Gomez
8/12 “vs.” Rochester (Completion of game suspended on 6/10/11, in Rochester)
8/12 @ Rochester, Zach McAllister
8/13 @ Rochester, David Huff
8/14 @ Rochester, Joe Martinez
8/15 @ Rochester, Corey Kluber
Players to Watch
I had written some sweeping reviews of several players, but due to an awesome glitch in the system none of my work got saved. So, just pretend there are some glowing reviews of Cord Phelps, Jared Head, Luis Valbuena, Beau Mills, and Jared Goedart here. Also, Nick Hagadone had a good week. There were also some mediocre reviews from pitchers Zach McAllister, Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, and Corey Kluber. All did OK this week, but not great. Sorry there’s not more.
A Quick Word…
…about Mike Sarbaugh. I made a comment in the opening about the organization looking to lock him up, possibly as the major league hitting coach. That may have sounded a bit nuts, but let’s look at his resume. Unless the Tribe is looking to keep Bruce Fields on full-time, Sarbaugh could and maybe should be the leading candidate.
Prior to his managing career, he was a hitting coach in the Tribe’s system for nine seasons beginning in 1995. He worked in Kinston in 1995, 1998, and 1999. He worked in Columbus (Georgia, which would later become Lake County) in 1996 and 1997. He was the hitting coach in Akron from 2000-2003. He got his first managerial job then in 2004 with Mahoning Valley, and won the first of his four championships at all levels in eight years of managing.
Look at the past two years in Columbus: there has been near constant roster turn-overs, and yet the club continues to hit. They won a title last year despite seeing most of their best hitters from the early part of the year gone to Cleveland. They lost a few more guys this year, and still continue to lead the IL not only in wins, but also in runs, home runs, RBI, and OPS. They are fourth in batting average.
Sarbaugh clearly works well with the majority of his players. He’s been successful everywhere he’s worked in the minors. It’s time to make a serious move not only to keep this guy in the system, but perhaps as the Tribe’s full-time hitting coach in 2012 to bring some consistency and improvement to a streaky and sometimes downright putrid offense with decent on-paper talent in Cleveland. Then you also have him as a potential manager-in-waiting if need be.
He certainly has the credentials, and the Tribe would be foolish to let him go. Believe me: someone WILL come calling for him sooner or later.
…we’ll take a quick look at the rest of the IL standings as we enter the last month of the season. In the IL North, Lehigh Valley (Phillies) is leading the way with a 66-51 record, with Pawtucket (Red Sox) just a half-game back at 64-50. In the IL South, it’s again Durham (Rays) leading the way at 65-49, but this year they have some competition. Gwinnett (Braves) is nipping at their heals, just 2.5 games back at 63-52. Pawtucket leads in the Wild Card, with Gwinnett just 1.5 games back. Nothing final on how the matchups will shake out this year, but it looks pretty much like Columbus will have a chance to defend their title, as they sit 8.0 games up on Durham and 8.5 games up on Lehigh Valley.