2010 Columbus Clippers: Starting Pitchers
Here it is, the first preview of the Clippers Opening Day roster. The OFFICIAL roster will be set by the end of the week, but until then…
1. Carlos Carrasco (RH), 23 years old, 6-3, 221 lbs, Baquisimeto, VZ
Carrasco was expected to start in Columbus during the entire off-season, but pitched well enough to be considered for the Indians final spot. However, he struggled Sunday (4.2 IP, 4 ER) and probably eliminated himself from further consideration. David Huff, barring a meltdown in his outing Wednesday, should be named the #5 guy in the bigs.
The Venezuelan native has tremendous potential, which is why Cleveland sought after him in the Cliff Lee trade last July. He throws a good mixture of three pitches, a fastball that normally ranges 92-94 MPH and tops out at 96 MPH, a changeup that he throws well to both sides of the plate, and a curveball that still needs some fine tuning, but is already an above average pitch.
He led the International League in strikeouts last year (148) and limited batters to a .245 average against (4th best in the league). He was a September call-up last season, but struggled, going 0-4 with an 8.87 ERA in five starts. Look for Carrasco to get the first call from Cleveland as soon as they need a starter.
2. Hector Rondon (RH), 22, 6-3, 180, Guatire, VZ
Rondon was all the rage last season when Indians fans talked about the pitching prospects in the minors and there is no reason to think that excitement will be tempered when he takes that mound at Huntington Park in April.
The lanky, hard throwing righty features a spectacular four-seam fastball that he used to fire five no-hit innings in his Clippers debut last year. He usually goes 92-94 MPH and sometimes hits 96 MPH. Rondon also has a slider and changeup, but neither of his secondary pitches is considered above-average yet.
Rondon has the potential to be in the bigs at some point this season.
3. Jeanmar Gomez (RH), 22, 6-3, 170, Caracas, VZ
Gomez made a name for himself by winning the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year honor in 2009. He also threw the first perfect game in Akron Aeros history on May 21st against Trenton and needed only 87 pitches to do it.
The third member of this Clippers Venezuelan foursome throws a fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball lies in the 90-92 MPH range his slider and changeup are still works in progress. The slider is his second best pitch, but has been very inconsistent from start to start and even inning to inning.
It appears the Indians see Gomez as a potential back of the rotation starter down the road.
4. Yohan Pino (RH), 26, 6-2, 190, Turmero, VZ
Pino arrived in Columbus via the Carl Pavano trade with Minnesota. Pino was the player to be named later in that deal and made just two starts with the Clippers at the end of the year, going 2-0 and allowing only 2 ER in 14 IP.
He throws a fastball, curveball, and slider. He can throw both breaking pitches well enough to keep hitters guessing. The Indians have been impressed with his ability and demeanor in spring camp.
Pino is not considered a major prospect in the organization, especially at 26 years old. However, he could be called upon to spot start or even chew up some relief innings in Cleveland this year.
5. Scott Lewis (LH), 26, 6-0, 185, West Covina, CA (Ohio State)
Lewis was the Indians #5 starter with the team broke camp in 2009, but Lewis’ success at this time last year was very short lived. He suffered an elbow strain after his first regular season outing and never recovered. He made seven rehab starts at various levels, one with the Clippers, but stayed on the disabled list until mid-August. He was bounced from the 40-man roster this off-season.
A former Ohio State star, Lewis will be a fan favorite in Columbus. In 2003 as a sophomore, he went 9-1 with a 1.61 ERA for the Buckeyes and won Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors, but need Tommy John surgery after the season. He had 20.2 IP the next year and was a 3rd round pick by Cleveland that June.
Lewis’ best pitch is his curveball. His fastball sits 88-90 MPH and his changeup is considered to be an above average major league pitch. His problem has always been health and that will be tested again in 2010. Lewis is currently only stretched to throw four innings at a time so he could be piggy-backed by Josh Tomlin every fifth day in April.
I’ll be back with some “Clippings” later…