July 23, 2014

MLB News: Indians and Clippers Extend Affiliation Agreement

The Columbus Clippers and the Cleveland Indians announced, per press release, a two year extension of their player development contract which will now extend through the 2016 season.

Ken Schnacke, President & GM, had these comments:  “These first four seasons of being affiliated with the Cleveland Indians in our new ballpark has exceeded all of our expectations. The awards we have won together are a testament to how well we work together, how much our fans appreciate not only Huntington Park but also our relationship with the Tribe. We are very proud to be a part of the Cleveland Indians player development system and we take pride and pleasure in following our players who have “graduated” from Columbus to Cleveland…there are currently 15 players (on the 25 active roster) who have come through Columbus….pitchers Cody Allen, Jeanmar Gomez, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Vinnie Pestano, Chris Seddon, Tony Sipp & Joe Smith; and position players Michael Brantley, Ezequiel Carrera, Jason Donald, Jason Kipnis, Matt LaPorta,  Lou Marson & Carlos Santana”.

Cleveland Indians GM Chris Antonetti added: “We are pleased to extend our relationship with the Columbus Clippers, taking us through the 2016 season.  The Clippers are a first-class organization that provides our players and staff with a Major League-caliber operation and facility. We look forward to continuing this unique opportunity of developing our upper-level prospects in the heart of our regional fan base”.

The player development contract between the Clippers and the Indians began in 2009, coinciding with the opening of Huntington Park.  The first contract was for four years through 2012 and was extended for an additional two seasons at the end of the 2010 season.

In the first four years with the Indians, the Clippers became the first team in history to win back-to-back Governors’ Cups and Triple-A National Championships.

[Related: Looking for Leaders in the Cleveland Indians Clubhouse]

 

David Huff to Make Rehab Start for Aeros Tonight

Left-hander David Huff will make a rehab start on the road for the Double-A Akron Aeros tonight at 7:05 p.m. The Aeros will be facing off against the Reading Phillies.

Huff, 27, is recovering from a strained right hamstring that he suffered March 29 at the end of Indians spring training. He was one of the leading early candidates to win the No. 5 position in the starting rotation, but his injury sealed the deal for right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.

Most recently, Huff pitched a simulated game last Monday at Canal Park in Akron. He is expected to pitch four innings or 60 pitches this evening, whichever comes first. He was eligible to come off the disabled list April 14, but no specific timetable is known for when he could return to Cleveland.

Huff holds a 15-25 career MLB record with a 5.50 ERA in 49 games. He was a supplemental first-round draft pick by the Indians in 2006 out of UCLA. He burst through the team’s farm system to make the club in mid-2009, but has struggled to find consistency against major-league hitters ever since.

He did shine in his first 6 starts last year with a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings pitched, before crashing down to earth again. Likely short-term options for Huff could be a return trip to Triple-A as a starter, a move to being a long-relief guy in Cleveland or possibly competing again against Gomez, who has just made one start so far.

Source: [Akron Aeros press release]

Pop the Champagne! Clippers Beat Lehigh Valley 4-1 to Take Second Straight Governor’s Cup

Governor’s Cup Finals – Game 4
Clippers 4, Iron Pigs 1 – (box)
COL wins series, 3-1

The Clippers dropped Game 1 of the Governor’s Cup Finals at home, but true to form they rallied and capped three straight wins with a 4-1 triumph over Lehigh Valley tonight to take their second straight Governor’s Cup. This also means a chance for Columbus to defend their AAA National Championship against the champs of the Pacific Coast League. The game will be played on September 20 in Albuquerque. No word on the hot dogs just yet…

Paolo Espino got the start, and was solid–much like teammates Mitch Talbot and Joe Martinez the prior two games. The Clippers cap a stellar playoff run in which they went 6-1 over Durham and Lehigh Valley to claim another title. Columbus outscored the Iron Pigs 14-4 in the final three games to take the crown.

For manager Mike Sarbaugh, this is now five league championships in his nine years of managing in the Tribe’s system. He’s won at all levels, and has won titles in Akron (1) and Columbus (2) in each of the past three seasons. If I might editorialize, I’d say it’s time Mr. Sarbaugh got a promotion, especially considering that his most recent two titles have come after having the majority of his talent pilfered to Cleveland each of the past two summers.

I’m too many beers in to write a recap of this game, but I’ll have more on Tuesday in my Clippers time slot about this season, and about Sarbaugh. Suffice it to say, the Clippers are Champs once again!

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – Playoffs Edition 9/13/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.

The Clippers kick off the Governor’s Cup Finals series tonight at home again Lehigh Valley, after completing a first-round sweep over the Durham Bulls this past Friday night. The Clippers looked unstoppable against Durham, out-scoring the Bulls by a collective 16-5 in the three game sweep. Their starters were lights-out; their offense was clutch; they shut down the Bulls’ stars on offense. In short, it was a complete domination. And, to me, it defied all logic. But, we’ll get to that in a moment.

This Week: 3-0
Playoff Results: Beat Durham 3-0 to advance to the Governor’s Cup Finals

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Clippers Bats Whip Bulls 8-3 to Take a 2-0 Series Lead

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 2
Clippers 8, Bulls 3 (box)
COL leads series 2-0

Unlike Game 1, this time out both offenses established themselves early. By the end of the first inning, a combination of five runs–two more than had scored in the entire game–were in and on the scoreboard. But, it was the Clippers’ bats who would carry the day. Columbus starter–and former Durham Bull–Mitch Talbot got the chance to beat his former team, and was good enough after the first inning to give him team time to stretch their legs. And stretch they did.

Chad Huffman again led the offensive assault, with three hits in five trips, including a double and his second home run in as many games of the series. Huffman drove in two and also scored twice as well as the Clippers rocked former Tribe draft pick Chris Archer to the tune of five runs in 5.2 innings. Tim Fedroff, Travis Buck, Beau Mills, Juan Diaz, and Argenis Reyes all had two hits each as well, as the Clippers plated eight runs on 14 hits. They were especially potent with two outs, scoring all of their runs with two outs. [Read more...]

Clippers Shut Down Bulls 3-0 Behind Solid Pitching from McAllister, Bullpen

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 1
Clippers 3, Bulls 0 (box)
COL leads series 1-0

Often in a baseball playoff series, Game 1 is all about “strength versus strength” – the teams usually each send their best pitchers to the mound, and the offenses are feeling each other out. Bulls’ starter Matt Moore hadn’t lost a start since being promoted from AA in July, so it looked like the Clippers–even with their best starter in Zach McAllister toeing the rubber–would have their work cut out for them.

Well, Moore was good; the difference is that McAllister was great, at least for six innings. And, the Clippers’ bullpen was exceptional. Columbus got enough offense from the middle of the order, and pushed past the Bulls for a 1-0 series lead. OF Chad Huffman led the bats with a home run, a double, and two of the three RBI on the night. Beau Mills drove in the third run, and that was more than enough for the Columbus pitchers. [Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 8/30/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
The Clippers are in the playoffs for the second straight year, and will be looking to defend their IL and AAA Championships. They’ll have to do it with a piece-meal roster, as so many of their core players from earlier in the season are now with Cleveland. The Clippers are heading into the final week of the regular season on a high note, however, winners of three straight. Six games to go, and then the start of the IL playoffs against the IL South winner, who is still yet to be determined.

This Week: 5-2
Season Record: 85-53, clinched International League West

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Clippers Clinch IL West; Nick Hagadone Looks Beastly

The Clippers entered Tuesday night’s game with a magic number of just two, but also riding a four-game losing streak. Their pitching had been suspect at best during the streak, and given that projected starter Zach McAllister was up in Cleveland, they needed Paolo Espino to step up.

And step up he did, working 7.0 strong innings, allowing just two hits, walking none, and whiffing seven Buffalo Bisons en route to a 5-0 win. Espino got some help from the long ball, and the Clippers as a whole got some help from the Indianapolis Indians, who lost 7-6 to Lehigh Valley to give the Clippers the IL West title.

Jared Goedart, Jerad Head, and Cord Phelps each hit home runs for Columbus, and Nick Hagadone (more on him below) and Josh Judy each worked a perfect inning to seal the win. Goedart’s home run in the first inning would provide all the margin that Espino needed, and Head’s solo shot in the fourth and Phelps’ two-run bomb that cleared the bleachers in left field in the seventh provided the cushion. But Espino cruised, and didn’t need any extra help. [Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 8/23/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
They may be limping home, but the magic number continues to fall. The Clippers now have a magic number of just two to clinch the IL West. The other division leaders are creeping closer in terms of record, but Columbus is still leading the way with a little bit of cushion.

This Week: 1-5
Season Record: 80-51, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West) by 12.0 games

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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

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Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 7/26/11

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.
This season is starting to look more and more like last season. I mean, if you take away all of the team’s best players, you’ll have stretches of play like this week. No Jason Kipnis. No Ezequiel Carrera. No Lonnie Chisenhall. Suddenly, the murderer’s row offense is a bit more lethargic. Seems to be the MO of this organization right now, no? The silver lining in terms of the playoffs is that they still have a 9.5 game lead over Louisville. Let’s not forget, however, the stretch the Bats put together last season to erase a similar lead this late in the season; the Clippers had to win in the final weekend to get into the playoffs.

This Week: 2-5
Season Record: 64-39, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

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Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 7/19/2011

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.
Now that’s more like it! After some well-deserved rest for most of the roster–and in spite of a swell of roster moves due to the Tribe’s injury situation–The Ship came out of the All-Star break with all guns blazing. The Clippers are currently riding a four-game winning streak, and have pushed their IL West lead up to 12.5 games. Put it this way: there are still seven weeks left in the season, and their magic number is already down to just 36 games. In addition to their division dominance, the Clip Show also have a nice six-game lead over Lehigh Valley for the best record in the IL.

This Week: 4-1
Season Record: 62-34, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

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Tribe Minor League Report: Four Clippers Named AAA All Stars

Despite the Tribe not playing yesterday, the news was not all bad. The IL All Star team was announced, and in addition to manager Mike Sarbaugh–who will be heading the squad–four players are heading to the contest as well.

The three highlights are prospects. Second baseman Jason Kipnis leads the group, and is joined by pitchers Zach McAllister and Jeanmar Gomez. The Clippers contingent is rounded out by none other than Sweet Luis Valbuena.

Valbuena leads all regulars on the Clippers in hitting, with a .319 average in 70 games. Kipnis is not far behind, hitting .301 in 77 games. Both infielders are also mashing, with a .524 and .526 slugging mark respectively. [Read more...]

Lonnie Chisenhall Trying to Have the Best Week Ever

Lonnie Chisenhall made short work of his first major league hit and RBI as he went 2-4 in an Indians win over the Arizona Diamonbacks last night.  I guess, technically, it could have been better.  Chisenhall could have been the one to deliver the game-winning homer like Orlando Cabrera did in the ninth inning.  I think we can give him a passing grade for his debut anyway.  And now, the Indians have named Chisenhall the Minor League Player of the Week.

Sure, they could be trying to justify their own call-up or boost his confidence by lavishing him with awards.  Then again, with a stat line like he had since coming off the disabled list, it is hard to argue with the honor.  As the Tribe’s press release points out, Chisenhall went 7-17 at the plate with 4 runs scored, a triple, 2 home runs and 13 RBI in 4 games for the Clippers. [Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping An Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 6/28/2011

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 hot streak has cooled. After winning 16 of 17 to reach a high water mark of 52-23, the Clippers have lost three in a row to Gwinnett. I guess that’s OK. I mean, you can’t expect a team to keep winning at that clip all season, right? Some more roster upheaval, as reigning IL Batter of the Week Lonnie Chisenhall has moved on to Cleveland, so it will again fall onto the remaining guys and callups to keep the train rolling… just like last season.

This Week: 4-3
Season Record: 52-26, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

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Lonnie Chisenhall Reportedly Called Up to Indians

Jordan Bastian had the scoop first today.  He is reporting that the Lonnie Chisenhall era of Cleveland Indians baseball is about to begin.  Obviously I think that wording is a bit tongue in cheek.  The move, reportedly comes at the expense of veteran Adam Everett who has been designated for assignment if the rumors turn out to be factual.  Our own TD was calling for drastic moves today in the weekend wrap after a horrid series against San Francisco.  While not enough to be considered drastic yet, the Everett for Chisenhall swap is at least a step beyond the acknowledgement that the Indians indeed have a problem.

Before we all get too excited, I figure I’ll just toss a big, heavy wet blanket on everyone.  Lonnie Chisenhall is the hottest player in AAA Columbus right now, but our own DP, who covers the Clippers, was the first to point out that The Chiz Kid might not have been the next in line.  Chisenhall came off the DL hotter than anything.  Prior to that though, Chisenhall has been streaky and much closer to 0.250 as a hitter.  So, while it is certainly possible that a hot Chisenhall can come in and wake up the slumbering Tribe offense, he is still just a rookie AAA player who has only been really hot as of late. [Read more...]

Welcome Back! Chisenhall Rakes in Clippers 50th Win, and Other Tribe Third Base Musings

It hadn’t been a great June for third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. In his last 10 games before being injured with a concussion on June 11th, he was hitting just .154 (6-for-39). Apparently a little time off for a concussion can do wonders for a guy.

Chisenhall was activated yesterday and played in his first game against the Mud Hens. And play he did, grabbing four hits, including two singles, a triple, and  an eighth-inning tie-breaking three run jack to power the Clippers to the win; Chisenhall drove in 6 of the team’s 13 runs. And, if you’re into milestones, it was the club’s 50th win in just 73 games (.685 winning percentage), including 14 of their last 15.

Back to Chisenhall, however. There may be a little extra pressure on Chisenhall, as with Matt LaPorta’s injury the Tribe has seen more time with Jack Hannahan at first and Orlando Cabrera playing third base… something he’s never done prior in the big leagues.

It’s probably still too early, however, for Chisenhall. [Read more...]

Tribe News: Chisenhall Activated from DL

Lonnie Chisenhall / Photo: Joe Santry, Columbus ClippersFinally, some good news for third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. The Chiz, who has not played since he was injured with a concussion sliding into–ironically–third base on June 11th, was activated from the Clippers’ disabled list today and is expected to play tonight against Toledo.

Chisenhall, 22, who has struggled a bit both at the plate and in the field this season, saw his year take another bad turn when he suffered the concussion. The team kept him out of the lineup day-to-day, and when his symptoms didn’t improve they finally placed on him on the DL last week.

So far this season, Chisenhall is hitting .250 in 60 games with five home runs and 30 RBI. His .734 OPS has been disappointing, to say the least, and he also has seven errors in 54 games at third in the field with a .953 fielding percentage.
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Photo Credit: Joe Santry/Columbus Clippers

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)

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Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 6/14/11

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 bounce-back, Batman! Even without their best hitter, the Clippers managed to straighten out whatever was ailing them, and are now in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. They’ve pushed their division lead back up to 5.5 games, and lead Lehigh Valley by 2.5 games for the best overall IL record. The Clippers put it all together this past week, out-scoring their opponents 46-17 over seven games. If you’re scoring at home, that’s almost 7 runs a game on offense versus allowing under 2.5 runs a game. When you look at it that way, it’s not that surprising that they’ve been on fire.

Two Weeks: 6-0
Season Record: 43-22, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

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