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Clippers Notebook: Bauer the next top Clipper set to join Indians

Clippers Notebook: Bauer the next top Clipper set to join Indians
May 19, 2014
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The Week that Was

The eight game home stand concluded in walk-off fashion on Monday morning (yes, I said morning).  The Clippers got a double from infielder Audy Ciriaco in the ninth to overcome a Mark Lowe blown save and the Clippers defeated Syracuse 5-4. 

The Clippers needed only one win in Rochester to take the season series against the Red Wings.  They swept them at Huntington Park the prior week.  The Clippers, in turn were swept in Rochester.  What stood out from this series were a pair of pour pitching performances from otherwise reliable starters T.J. House and Trevor Bauer.  Bauer gave up four homers in one inning and was slapped for six runs in 5.2 innings.  House gave up four runs over 5.2 innings.  Tyler Cloyd gave up a four-spot in the first inning of game three and Kyle Davies fell apart in the seventh inning of an otherwise brilliant pitching performance.

They snapped the losing streak and took the first two in Syracuse on Saturday and Sunday thanks to a pretty good pitching performance from Travis Banwart and the awakening of some slumbering bats.  On Saturday, they got a pair of RBIs each from David Cooper, George Kottaras, and Justin Sellers to win 8-1.  On Sunday, Justin Sellers led everybody with a pair of RBIs and the offense was spread around in an 8-3 win.

Featured Player(s)

Normally this space would be reserved for those players that actually still play for the Clippers, but this week, given that so many of them have been promoted, I have decided to break down those who are no longer in Columbus.

Arguably the five best players from the first month and a half are gone; starting pitchers Josh Tomlin, T.J. House and Trevor Bauer (who technically is still on the roster as of this moment, but won’t be when Tuesday rolls around).  Also gone are first basemen Jesus Aguilar and infielderJose Ramirez. 

INF Jose Ramirez

Ramirez was the first of the five to get a promotion this month.  He began the season with a 21-game on-base streak and reached base in 22 of his 23 games in Columbus.  The highlight of his time in Columbus came on April 21st at Huntington Park when he smacked two home runs and collected four hits in five at-bats in a 6-4 win over Toledo.  But since being promoted following the injury of Indians second baseman and former Clipper Jason Kipnis, things have not gone as swimmingly.

 

G

Avg.

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

OBP

SLG

OPS

Columbus

23

.319

91

12

29

3

0

4

17

11

8

8

5

.365

.484

.849

Cleveland

8

.095

21

3

2

0

0

0

1

0

3

0

0

.095

.095

.190

With Kipnis’ return imminent (word on the street is that he’ll be in Columbus on rehab assignment next week) Ramirez will probably be sent back in the not-too-distant future.  Ramirez did not get an everyday opportunity in Cleveland for what it’s worth, but the Indians have a roster full of players that can play second base.

RHP Josh Tomlin

The next man up was Josh Tomlin, who was brilliant during his brief tenure in Columbus this time around.  In his five starts, he had four quality starts.  The loss he took was the only time he did not turn in a quality start; that night he went six innings and gave up four runs in his season debut against Indianapolis.  The highlight of his time in Columbus was a shutout he pitched in his last start in Durham where he struck out 10 and used just 95 pitches to dispose of the Bulls.  Including that night, he had not given up a run in 20 innings dating back to the third inning of the game against Toledo on April 18th.

 

G

GS

W

L

S

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

HBP

ERA

BA

WHIP

Columbus

5

5

2

1

0

35.0

22

8

8

9

28

3

0

2.06

.185

1.081

Cleveland

3

3

2

1

0

18.2

15

6

6

2

8

3

0

2.89

.211

0.911

Since his arrival in Cleveland, he has been the model of consistency.  He has pitched at least a quality start in all three starts, but has yet to pitch out of the seventh inning.  Given the Indians struggles on the mound as the reason for his call-up in the first place, he is probably there to stay for the foreseeable future.

1B Jesus Aguilar

The next man to get the call-up was Jesus Aguilar.  A common saying in football is that everybody’s favorite player is the backup quarterback.  In baseball, it sort of works the same way.  Everybody’s favorite player is the guy on the bench or in Triple-A.  That’s not to say that Aguilar isn’t talented; to the contrary, he is very talented.  In his month-plus in Columbus, he has shown quality plate discipline and a propensity to hammer the ball to the opposite field.  Aguilar got off to a torrid start in Columbus.  Through the first month of the season especially:

 

G

Avg.

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

OBP

SLG

OPS

April

24

.356

87

13

31

6

0

7

16

15

20

0

0

.440

.667

1.107

May

13

.182

44

5

8

2

0

0

3

7

11

0

0

.308

.227

.535

Col. Total

37

.298

131

18

39

8

0

7

19

20

31

0

0

.395

.519

.914

Cleveland

3

.000

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

.333

.000

.333

It’s a little unfair to include three games worth of game data, particularly because he has yet to actually play a full game.  He got one start and was replaced after three plate appearances.  He got only three trips to the plate in two games against Oakland.  What makes Jesus Aguilar an intriguing storyline is that he seems polished at the plate (full disclosure – I’ve only watched a month and a half of him in action).  He’s young and as his May numbers suggest, he still has some development needed.

But he’s also blocked by a veteran with a big contract (1B Nick Swisher) and another veteran (DH Jason Giambi) who is coming off the Disabled List next week.  He’ll probably get sent down to percolate for a while longer in Columbus.  But, like it was said in the beginning, he is the guy that Indians fans are clamoring for, and while that might be justified, more seasoning in Columbus is the right move for Aguilar.  The opportunity for at-bats on a daily basis at this point in his career is more beneficial to him than scattered playing time that he would likely see in Cleveland.

LHP T.J. House

I wrote a feature piece on T.J. House a couple of weeks ago and one of the things that was discussed in our conversation was whether or not House foresaw another call-up. 

“I don’t know what the Indians have in mind,” House said on April 24th.  “I just know that I need to take care of business here and if I do, the cards will play themselves out like they’re supposed to.”

Talking to him then, I don’t think he thought that a call-up would happen this soon.  At that point, there were two starters ahead of him that many people viewed as Indians rotation possibilities and House was just waiting in the wings.

He had a solid start to the season.

 

G

GS

W

L

S

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

HBP

ERA

BA

WHIP

Columbus

7

7

1

2

0

41.1

35

12

11

11

34

1

1

2.40

.235

1.113

Cleveland

1

0

0

0

0

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

.000

.000

While no one start was particularly memorable, he was solid in most of his starts.  He did not get a lot of run support, which is why he ended up 1-2 and the bullpen blew three saves in games he started.  He deserved a shot, even as a possible filler until his Clipper teammate Trevor Bauer is called up on Tuesday to start.  This time around, however, he pitched in a Major League game.

RHP Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer has been biding his time in Columbus.  He made a spot start in a doubleheader eight days into the Indians season and pitched a solid six innings of two runs (one earned), but he took the loss thanks to what has become a trademark Indians anemic offense.

Until his last start in Columbus, he has been steady.  He had only given more than one run once and his lowest inning total was six.  But Tuesday in Rochester, he was hammered for four home runs in one inning and was ousted after 5.2 innings.  But one bad start does not prevent him from rightfully taking his place in the Indians rotation.

 

G

GS

W

L

S

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

HBP

ERA

BA

WHIP

Columbus

7

7

4

1

0

46.0

36

11

11

14

44

5

1

2.15

.216

1.087

Cleveland

1

0

0

0

0

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

.000

.000

Catching Wind

RHP Travis Banwart

Banwart made two starts this week and while his second start he did not go the minimum six innings to get credit for a quality start he did pick up a victory, and more importantly, he stopped a losing streak.  It was also the first time this month that Banwart did not qualify for a quality start, but as his numbers show, he has consistently pitched well all season, despite being overshadowed by the three pitches discussed above.

 

G

GS

W

L

S

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

HBP

ERA

BA

OBP

5/12-5/18

2

2

1

0

0

11.2

12

4

4

2

6

2

0

3.09

.267

.298

Total

8

8

3

0

0

45.2

33

17

17

16

34

5

3

3.35

.201

.280

RHP Frank Herrmann

When the week you’re covering has generally been bad for the team that you’re writing about, it is difficult to find players that have performed well in trying circumstances.  Frank Herrmann is the epitome of performing well in trying circumstances.  He is coming off shoulder surgery which prevents him from being utilized as often as others in the bullpen, but when he has been used, he has performed well.  This week, he held down the lead to end the sixth in a losing-streak-snapping win over Syracuse on Friday night.  He also struck out five in as many outs, while only allowing a walk and a hit.

 

G

GS

W

L

S

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

HBP

ERA

BA

OBP

5/12-5/18

2

0

0

0

0

1.2

1

0

0

1

4

0

0

0.00

.167

.286

Total

8

0

1

1

0

8.1

4

1

1

6

15

0

0

1.08

.143

.294

INF Justin Sellers

Sellers has a modest five game hit streak and a couple of key hits late in games.  He doubled in the first two runs in the fifth inning on Saturday night to give the Clippers the lead in a game they ultimately won 8-1.  On Sunday, his two-run double in the fifth inning broke the game open giving the Clippers a four run lead.

 

G

Avg.

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

OBP

SLG

OPS

5/12-5/18

5

.278

18

1

5

2

0

0

4

2

0

0

0

.350

.389

.739

Total

36

.225

138

11

31

7

1

0

15

14

20

2

1

.301

.290

.591

Lost at Sea

RHP Tyler Cloyd

The entire rotation was lost at sea this week, but you can’t pick everybody.  Cloyd has been struggling mightily this season, recording just two quality starts in eight chances.  On Thursday night, he had a particularly rough first inning, giving up a grand slam to Deibinson Romero.  The home run was only Romero’s second this season in 107 previous at-bats, his first coming on Tuesday night against Trevor Bauer (Romero hit his third on Saturday against Toledo).  To be fair, Romero has shown some pop in previous years, topping out at 19 home runs in 2012 with New Britain (AA), but his power numbers have dropped precipitously since his arrival at this level. 

Cloyd, however, stuck around on Tuesday night and tossed five innings.  In fact, anytime that his ERA threatens to go under 6, he gives up another run.  He gave up another run in the fifth before exiting.  A path has been worn out between Cleveland, Columbus and Akron over the course of the first two months.  If Cloyd continues to struggle, another roster move seems likely.   

 

G

GS

W

L

S

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

HBP

ERA

BA

OBP

Thursday

1

1

0

1

0

5

9

5

5

0

2

1

0

9.00

.375

.375

Total

8

8

1

3

0

42.1

60

33

30

12

36

8

0

6.38

.330

.369

Debuts

Right-handed pitcher Duke von Schamann made his Triple-A and Columbus debut on Sunday afternoon in Syracuse.  He only lasted 4.2 innings and gave up three runs.  It wasn’t the runs that led to his early demise, it was an extremely high pitch count.  All told, he left with the lead, which is about all you can ask for.  For those keeping track, von Schamann was acquired on April 6th from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for LHP Colt Hynes and is the son of former Miami Dolphins kicker Uwe Von Schamann.

Looking Forward

5/19 – at Syracuse (7:00 PM) – LHP Scott Barnes (2-1, 3.86) vs. RHP Ross Ohlendorf (0-0, 0.00)
5/20 – at Syracuse (12:00 PM) – TBA vs. RHP Taylor Jordan (0-0, 0.82)
5/21 – OFF DAY
5/22 – Durham (7:05 PM) – LHP Enny Romero (2-4, 4.75) vs. Kyle Davies (1-2, 3.26) – TV: CBS SN
5/23 – Durham (7:15 PM) – RHP Matt Andriese (3-3, 4.93) vs. Travis Banwart (3-0, 3.35)
5/24 – Durham (7:05 PM) – RHP Nathan Karns (2-2, 5.24) vs. TBA
5/25 – Durham (6:05 PM) – TBA vs. TBA

Transactions

5/12 – INF Todd Hankins was transferred to Adv. A Carolina from Columbus…INF Justin Toole was transferred from Akron (AA) to Columbus (AAA)

5/13 – INF Justin Toole was transferred from Columbus (AAA) to Akron (AA)…INF Ryan Rohlinger (right abductor strain) was activated off the 7-Day Disabled List…C Roberto Perez was placed on the 7-Day Disabled List (left hamstring)

5/14 – Cleveland sent C George Kottaras outright to Columbus (AAA)

5/15 – Cleveland recalled INF Jesus Aguilar from Columbus (AAA)

5/17 – Cleveland recalled LHP T.J. House from Columbus (AAA)

5/18 – Cleveland optioned RHP C.C. Lee to Columbus (AAA)…RHP Duke von Schamann was transferred from Akron (AA) to Columbus (AAA)

Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.

User Comments

Tony
May 20, 2014 - 10:22 AM EDT
Agreed Hermie. If they are not going to play Ramirez on a regular basis, then they should have just called up Sellers and let him rot on the bench like they mostly have with Ramirez.
Hermie13
May 20, 2014 - 9:54 AM EDT
At this point I'd like to see the Indians option Jose Ramirez back to AAA and call up Sellers til Kipnis is back. It's clear that Tito is gonna go with Aviles, and hard to really argue as he's been playing well and Ramirez hasn't done much (though inconsistent playing time could be the issue).

Sellers can sit on the bench and rot. Maybe be a late inning defensive replacement but nothing more. Ramirez can go back to AAA and play everyday. Even get some time in at SS while Kipnis is in C-bus on rebab.

IMO we're doing Ramirez no favors in having him in Cleveland right now and sitting.

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