Mitchell-Back in the Saddle
The Clippers have rattled off 7 straight wins to push their division lead to 8 games over the Louisville Bats in the West. The roll comes on the heels of a stretch in which the Clippers had played under .500 ball (6-9) over a 2-week span after their 13-game winning streak was snapped on May 5th. At their current pace, the Clippers would finish with a 102-42 record this season, no pressure.
Columbus is in the midst of their longest road trip of the season, a 10-gamer through Norfolk, Durham and Louisville. The Tides have the worst record in the IL and one of the worst in pro baseball. The Bulls are a 1st place team, but the Clippers just finished sweeping them at Huntington Park and the Bats have struggled, dropping 8 of their last 12 games. On paper, the Clippers should be able to feast on this trip.
One of the reasons for the resurgence is the fact that the bullpen has settled down nicely and their have been some roster additions to the relief corps that should help as well. David Huff is set to rejoin the rotation, which pushes Joe Martinez back into the pen, Josh Judy is back from Cleveland and Justin Germano has been added to the roster after accepting his assignment after clearing waivers.
Things are not quite as settled with the position players as the short bench has forced Mike Sarbaugh to use both catchers in the line-up for the past few days. Josh Rodriguez is still down with a groin injury and Chad Huffman’s balky back has kept him out of the lineup for the last 2 days. No word on whether a DL stint is in the future for either player, but the Clippers could sure use a body or 2 to give a rest to the rest. Kyle Smith is on the roster, but if he starts and there is an injury, only a catcher would be available on the bench.
In case you were wondering, Jared Goedert has been playing with Akron on an injury rehab assignment. He is currently on the Cleveland 60-day DL. He’s hitting .276 with a 1.044 OPS for the Aeros over 8 games. He is eligible to come off of the DL tomorrow. He could be optioned to the minors after that. With Lonnie Chisenhall firmly entrenched at 3B, Goedert would likely see time at 1B and in the outfield. A power bat would be very welcome in the Clippers batting order. UPDATE- Goedert was assigned to Columbus today to continue his rehab assignment.
Speaking of power bats, there has not been much word from Cleveland about the status of Nick Weglarz. Mt. Logan went down with a torn meniscus in spring and was expected to miss the first 2 months of the season, well here we are on March 28th, so something should be forthcoming soon. Had Weglarz been healthy, he would have opened with Columbus and that could have pushed Jerad Head down to Akron. Funny how this game works.
When Alex White went down with an injured middle finger on his pitching hand, many thoughts drifted to Adam Miller, the can’t-miss SP prospect who had Tribe fans drooling. Miller’s finger injury derailed his ascent to the bigs, but he’s working his way back onto the tracks. He was recently promoted to Double-A Akron to continue his laborious march on the comeback trail. He will never be a starter again, but his turn to the bullpen could put him in a position to more easily manage his workload and give him a shot to one day pitch in the Majors in what would be a true feel-good story.
With the Indy 500 running at noon on Sunday, the Clipper broadcast will be preempted on WMNI. We will join in progress if possible.