Sailing with the Clippers: 6/13/13 - 6/19/13
Just when Clippers fans didn’t think it could get any worse, it did. Yet again, Columbus finished the week with a losing record (2-5) and have plummeted to 34-39 overall. After splitting a four-game series at Charlotte, the Clippers have lost three in a row to the Pawtucket Red Sox and are in danger of getting swept for the fifth time this season. Columbus has sank to third place in the International League West, two games behind Louisville (36-37) for second and 14.5 games behind division-leading Indianapolis (49-25).
The Clippers split a pair at Charlotte to begin the week. After rain postponed game one on June 13, Columbus took the first game of a double header the next day behind a strong start by Trevor Bauer. Right-hander Danny Salazar pitched well in the third game to pick up a 4-2 victory and the Knights seized the final contest with a 6-3 triumph.
The Pawtucket series has been a completely different story. Besides the first game, the Clippers have had opportunities to win the previous two affairs but couldn’t take advantage of them. The fourth and final game is set to be played Thursday at 7:05 p.m.
Trevor Bauer, SP
2 G, 1-0, 8.2 IP, 1.10 ERA, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 10 K, 5 BB
What more can be said about Bauer? The prospect continues to throw extremely well and is making major strides toward becoming a Major League-caliber pitcher. In two starts this past week, the right-hander is 1-0 with a fantastic 1.10 ERA across 8.2 innings. Watching him throw in person, it’s almost as if he’s become a different pitcher since the beginning of the year and that’s definitely a good thing. As long as he keeps fanning the opposition with those nasty breaking balls and keeps his walks down, he’ll be a mainstay in Cleveland’s rotation in no time.
Juan Diaz, SS
5 G, .313 BA (5-for-16), .450 OBP, 3 RBI, 6 K, 4 BB
Ever since being optioned back to Cleveland on June 13 to make room for the newly acquired John McDonald, Diaz has been surprisingly consistent at the plate - which is three-quarters of a big departure from how he was hitting before the call up. Pre-June 13, the shortstop was batting a meager .211. The solid week from Diaz has raised his average 24 points to .235. He needs to cut back on his strikeouts but other than that, things are looking better for Diaz. Hopefully the recent trend continues because the Clippers desperately need it.
Cord Phelps, 2B
6 G, .304 BA (7-for-23), . 360 OBP, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 2 BB
With Chisenhall‘s promotion to the Indians, Phelps arguably becomes Columbus’ best hitter. Although not great, his numbers this past week were respectable. The cleanup hitter had seven hits, all singles, in 23 at-bats which was good for a .304 batting average. His productivity in the power statistics such as extra-base hits and RBI were down this week but overall he played fairly well. If the Clippers expect to turn things around, Phelps has to turn things up a notch and become a catalyst for the offense.
Stranded at Sea
Paolo Espino, RHP
2 G, 0-0, 4 IP, 11.25 ERA, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 K, 4 BB
If one word could describe Espino’s last two outings, it would be “ouch.” In two appearances out of the bullpen, Espino has allowed five runs on 10 hits in four innings. Opponents have been shelling the reliever and are hitting a combined .338 off of him this season. His ERA currently sits at 7.36 after the rough week.
Matt Lawson, INF
4 G, .000 BA (0-for-14), .000 OBP, 9 K, 0 BB
Lawson had about as poor a weak as anyone could have. The infielder went hitless in 14 plate appearances last week and did not draw a single walk. What is even worse is that he struck out nine times. Now that Chisenhall is gone, he and Nate Spears’ playing time is increasing. Weekly performances like this will not bode well for the infielder.
Jeremy Hermida, OF
6 G, .136 BA (3-for-22), .269 OBP, 3 R, 0 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 8 K, 4 BB
Despite the poor week from Hermida, he still leads the team in home runs (11) and walks (51) and is second in RBI (37) behind Phelps’ 44. He is another guy who needs to step up in the heart of the lineup and start making more plays to help his team get back on track. Performances like Wednesday’s game against Pawtucket where he went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts (including a crucial called-third strike with the bases loaded to end the game) aren’t going to cut it. Being the seasoned veteran that he is, he should eventually find a way to get back into a groove.
253: The Clippers team batting average now sits at .253 which is the fourth-worse in the International League.
13: Columbus has lost 13 of their 18 games in June for a International League worst 5-13 record in June.
On The Move
RHP Cole Cook transferred to Akron
C Chris Wallace transferred to Akron
C Matt Colantonio sent to 7 Day DL
INF Juan Diaz optioned from Cleveland
C Roberto Perez added from Akron
LHP Clay Rapada signed as free agent
C Lou Marson returned to Cleveland from Major League injury rehab assignment
6/20- vs. Pawtucket Red Sox 7:05 p.m.
6/21- vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs 7:15 p.m.
6/22- vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs 7:05 p.m.
6/23- vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs 6:05 p.m.
6/24- vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs 12:05 p.m.
6/25- @ Norfolk Tides 7:05 p.m.
6/26- @ Norfolk Tides 7:05 p.m.