Leo: Great Scott (Barnes)
The 2012 Clippers roster is a long way from completion, but one pitcher that could play a huge factor in Columbus’ run towards another championship is Scott Barnes.
Barnes, 24, was acquired in 2010 from San Francisco for Ryan Garko. He was selected by the Giants in the 8th round of the 2008 draft, out of St. John’s University.
The lanky, 6’ 4” lefty was stellar this season before suffering a torn ACL on July 10th. Barnes was pitching in Toledo that day, and suffered the injury while trying to field a bunt on the third base line. He was sent to the Cleveland Clinic for surgery and two weeks of rehab before heading to Arizona to continue his recovery.
Typically, a torn ACL means 6-8 months of rehab, so hopefully he’ll be ready for spring training in February.
At the time of the injury, Barnes was enjoying an outstanding rookie Triple-A campaign. He ranked 4th in the league in strikeouts (90), 7th in batting average against (.240), 10th in wins (7), 17th in ERA (3.68), and 19th in WHIP (1.30). He started the season in Akron before getting a May promotion to Columbus.
His career record is 31-23 with 435 strikeouts in 423 innings.
It is likely that a healthy Scott Barnes will be a key part of the Clippers starting rotation.
Clippers battery mates?
If Barnes is ready for Opening Day, he could be throwing to Michel Hernandez.
The former Clippers catcher re-signed a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training. Hernandez, 33, was signed by Cleveland on July 1st and spent most of his season in Double-A, but did appear in seven games with the Clippers (.304, 7-for-23, 1 HR, 4 RBI).
He is a 14-year minor league veteran with 45 games on major league experience. He is the second minor league catcher signed by Cleveland this off-season, Luke Carlin has also inked a deal for 2012.
Hernandez already had some Clippers-ties before this season; he played for Columbus in 2002 and 2003 as a Yankees farm hand.