Remotely in control
The Clippers sit atop the IL West Division with a record of 11-7. It’s the best start in Columbus since 1999. Tonight the Clippers finish this seemingly never-ending series (five games) against Toledo. First pitch is 6:35pm and it’s a Dollar Deal Night!
* The Clippers Booster Club is taking a bus trip to Cleveland on Saturday, May 8th to see the Indians vs. Tigers. The trip includes a pre-game party at Progressive Field.
* Shelley Duncan was just 7-for-40 (.175) to start the season, but he’s 8 for his last 20 (.400). He still leads the league with 17 RBIs. Carlos Santana is second (16).
* Durham’s Dan Johnson leads the IL with 7 HRs, Santana is second with five.
* Jose Constanza’s .413 batting average tops the circuit. He is 18-for-42 (.429) against right-handers, but just 1-for-4 against lefties. Constanza was a switch-hitter unless about three seasons ago when he gave up hitting right-handed. I think it’s safe to say he won’t see very many at-bats against southpaws.
* Tuesday is the season debut of the Indians Minor League Magazine Show on SportsTime Ohio. Al Pawlowski and Jason Stanford with cover all the Tribe affiliates and the show will feature my recent chat with Clippers ace Carlos Carrasco.
* On Friday and Saturday, the Clippers beat Toledo. Those are the first back-to-back wins over the Mud Hens since 2008.
* Brian Buscher is out of the Clippers lineup for a couple days because of tightness in his back. Buscher was 1-for-20 during the road trip and he’s 2 for his last 31.
* Jason Donald and Trevor Crowe are both exactly 19-for-66 this season. Donald is second in the league in doubles (7), 1 HR, 10 RBIs, 9 walks and 5-for-6 in stolen bases. Crowe has two doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 walks and he’s 4-for-4 on the bases. Donald and Crowe played together at the University of Arizona; Trevor is one year older (26).
* Jordan Brown (26) played at Arizona with Crowe and Donald. Shelley Duncan is also an Arizona Wildcat, but wasn’t a teammate, he’s older (30).
* Brian Bixler homered twice in the Clippers 7-1 win at Toledo Saturday. Bixler only hit 40 career homer runs, but has three multi-homer games. He has never hit more than nine in a season.
* Brian Horwitz was released to make room for Michael Brantley, leaving just two Brians on the roster (Buscher and Bixler). However, the Clippers still have two Carlos’ (Carrasco and Santana), two Hectors (Rondon and Ambriz) and three Michaels (Brantley, Gosling and Sarbaugh). FYI… Louisville leads the league in Chris’ with three (Burke, Heisey, Valaika).
* Hector Ambriz, the Indians Rule 5 selection, has pitched six scoreless innings for the Clippers this season. He is with Columbus on a Major League rehab assignment which can only last 30 days. Once that time period expires, the Indians will have to decide whether to put Ambriz on the big league roster, offer him back to Arizona for $25,000 or make a trade to keep him permanently.
* Saul Rivera still holds the title of Clipper closer, but has only recorded two saves so far this year. There have only been four save opportunities thus far with Jess Todd and Frank Herrmann scooping up the others.
* I went down to Mike Sarbaugh’s office in Toledo to record our pre-game radio interview and spotted the remote control to the television. It’s the largest remote I’ve ever seen. Try losing this thing in the sofa!