Mitchell: Horsing Around
Making use of our time out West and due to the fact that we can’t seem to shake our Eastern Time Zone biorhythms, The Clippers broadcast team decided to take in some early morning desert scenery on horseback before the Indians campers got into action. Fear not though as we were out of the saddle in time to get back in the saddle for our season preview duties. This is, after all, a business trip.
The Triple-A squad played host to the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon. Cartlon Smith threw a couple of innings, looking very solid striking out the side in his first frame. Jason Kipnis continues to rake.
We met the Clippers new pitching coach Ruben Niebla as he took in the contest from behind the backstop. From out conversation, it seems like he’ll be a very solid interview from the standpoint of being knowledgeable, as well as being a fun guy to talk to. Niebla confirmed a statement from a week ago when Manny Acta stated that Joe Martinez would be in the Clippers rotation. Martinez in in the process of getting stretched out and should be able to go 5 innings by the time the opener rolls around.
That makes for a crowded rotation. Already penciled in are David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez, Zach McAllister and Martinez. Alex White, while not named officially, certainly appears Columbus-bound as well. Corey Kluber is working his way back from taking a batted ball to the head and is expected to be ready near the start of the season, so once he’s ready to go, he’ll have to slot in somewhere.
The infield in Columbus will see Lonnie Chisenhall at 3B, but who else and how often is seemingly going down to the wire. The Indians have one slot available for position players and 3 guys fighting for it. If Luis Valbuena is in Columbus, he’s the shortstop, but the possible return of Rule V pick Josh Rodriguez could muddle those waters if Rodriguez doesn’t break camp with the Pirates. Either Adam Everett or Jason Nix will be sent out as well, but their path to Columbus is more circuitous than Valbuena’s, as he has options remaining. Roster speculation is a fun part of camp, but the suppositions will end soon enough and the rosters will be set.
Be sure to check out our 1st video interviews of the season here with Lee May Jr. and Triple-A National Championship game MVP Jerad Head.
We’ll bring you more soon, so stay tuned pardners!