Results tagged ‘ 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…
Jeremy Sowers will indeed start tonight in Indianapolis. That means he won’t be called up to make Wednesday’s start for Cleveland.
The mostly likely options seem to be Zach Jackson or Aaron Laffey. If it’s Laffey, the Indians will have to open a spot on the roster. Masa Kobayashi and Jackson both have options left. Vinnie Chulk could also be sent back after making one appearance.
Scott Lewis will miss 2-4 weeks with a mild forearm strain. His next scheduled start was Wednesday and the Indians should announce today who’ll take that spot.
One option is Zach Jackson, who the Indians kept on the 25-man roster as a reliever. Zackson is stretched out enough to make a start if needed.
Other options include Clippers starters Jeremy Sowers (scheduled to pitch tonight in Indianapolis), Jack Cassel (scheduled for tomorrow), or David Huff. Huff would be on regular rest pitching Wednesday, but has yet to make his big league debut.
An announcement should come today… I’ll keep you posted!
On the same day the Indians named Zach Jackson as the final member of the bullpen, the Clippers named the starting rotation. Torey Lovullo said today that David Huff, Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey, Kirk Saarloos, and Jack Cassel are slated to make up the Columbus staff. Huff pitched in today’s scrimmage game and is on pace to be the opening day starter, but Lovullo said the exact order isn’t set. “We haven’t determined an exact schedule yet, but we should have something in the next couple days.” he said.
One thing is for sure, the southpaw trio of Huff, Sowers, and Laffey will be divided by the two right-handers, ”I won’t put all those lefties together”, Lovullo said “we’ll break them up with (the other two).” That means if Huff is indeed the Opening Day starter, then Saarloos or Cassel would probably start the second game.
The #5 starter would be slated to pitch the Huntington Park opener on April 18th against Toledo. The new park opens after a nine-game trip trough Louisville, Indianapolis and Toledo.
As promised, here is a preview of the Clippers starting pitching candidates:
1. Aaron Laffey
Left-hander, 6-0, 180 lbs., 24 years old
Last year: 5-7, 4.23 ERA w/Indians (16 games); 6-2, 4.38 ERA w/Buffalo (11 games)
How did he get here? 16th round pick in 2003 draft from Allegany High School in Maryland.
The skinny: Laffey is probably the favorite to win the #5 spot in the bigs. He had better numbers than Cliff Lee last May, but couldn’t sustain that momentum. His season ended with a thud after allowing 14 runs in his last two Triple-A starts. Don’t be surprised if Laffey starts with the Indians, but he’ll need a solid April to stay out of Columbus.
2. Jeremy Sowers
Left-hander, 6-1, 180 lbs., 25 years old
Last year: 4-9, 5.58 ERA w/Indians (22 games); 4-3, 2.08 ERA w/Buffalo (10 games)
How did he get here? 1st round pick (6th overall) in 2004 draft from Vanderbilt
The skinny: Sowers is probably not the favorite to be the Indians #5, primarily because of his struggles last year. He could win the job back with a strong spring showing, but it looks like the Indians confidence in him is lower than ever before. Sowers has been very good at the Triple-A level and could be the ace of the Clippers rotation.
3. David Huff
Left-hander, 6-2, 190 lbs., 24 years old
Last year: 6-4, 3.01 ERA w/Buffalo (16 games); 5-1, 1.92 ERA w/ Akron (11 games)
How did he get here? 1st round pick (supplemental) in 2006 draft from UCLA
The skinny: The Indians are probably more excited about Huff than any other young pitcher in the minors. He made his Triple-A debut last year after dominating the Eastern League. He has outstanding command of his pitches and uses a slider and change-up to off-set an average fastball. Huff has already been compared to Tom Glavine as a “crafty” left-hander with all the tools to succeed. He will start with the Clippers, but should be on the short list to get a call up.
4. Scott Lewis
Left-hander, 6-0, 185 lbs., 25 years old
Last year: 4-0, 2.63 ERA w/Indians (4 games); 2-2, 2.63 ERA w/Buffalo (4 games); 6-2, 2.33 w/Akron (13 games)
How did he get here? 3rd round pick (77th overall) in 2004 draft from Ohio State
The skinny: 2008 was a whirlwind season for Lewis, who went from Double-A to the bigs seemingly overnight. His tremendous debut with Cleveland means the Indians will have a close watch on his performances this spring. Most likely, he’ll start with the Clippers and the former Ohio State star will be a fan favorite in Columbus. He may be the perfect candidate to take the mound for the opening of Huntington Park on April 18th.
5. Zach Jackson
Left-hander, 6-5, 220 lbs., 25 years old
Last year: 2-3, 5.60 ERA w/Indians (9 games); 3-1, 4.05 ERA (8 games)
How did he get here? Acquired on July 7th, 2008 from Brewers in CC Sabathia trade
The skinny: Jackson was struggling with Triple-A Nashville (1-5, 7.85 ERA) before getting traded. He seemed to get back on track a bit late in the season and was called up to the Indians in August when Paul Byrd was dealt. The Brewers were looking at moving Jackson to the bullpen permanently, but the Indians still see him as a starter. He’ll get a chance to prove his worth with the Clippers.
Others in the mix: Tomo Ohka, Kirk Saarloos, and Ryan Edell
The bottom line: The Clippers should be stacked with left-handed pitchers in their mid-20′s. It’s a group that has the potential to be as good as any staff in Triple-A. The success and health of the Indians staff will determine whether the Clippers can keep a consistent rotation together.