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Around the Farm: September 21

Around the Farm: September 21
September 22, 2010
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Congratulations to the Columbus Clippers on winning the Triple-A National Championship last night.  With the win, they are now the undisputed kings of Triple-A. In a season where so many of their top players got called up to Cleveland or were injured, the younger players promoted from Double-A Akron really stepped up. Also, big kudos to manager Mike Sarbaugh and his staff on an extraordinary job of managing the team on and off the field all year (Sarby is a winner).

Here is a quick look at last night's Columbus championship performance. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday's (playoff) game.

Jerad Head - LF, Columbus: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI.
Mr. September had another impressive game for the Clippers, which is of no surprise these days considering how red hot he has proven to be over the years in the playoffs. With his performance last night he was named the MVP of the game, an award he also won last year in the playoffs with Double-A Akron. He finished the playoffs hitting .485/.541/.818 in 9 postseason games, and after his showing to go along with his very good year he split between Akron and Columbus, he may have stirred some interest in him to be added to a major league roster this offseason or sometime next season. Because of his age he is not considered a prospect (he turns 28 in November), but he could be a late-bloomer like a Casey Blake, and while he is not a minor league free agent he could get some interest in the Rule 5 Draft this offseason.

Jason Kipnis - DH, Columbus: 3-for-4, 3 R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI , BB.
What an impressive year Kipnis had this season for the Indians as he just continues to hit at every level. He hit .306/.388/.459 in his pro debut last year at Single-A Mahoning Valley, and carried that right into this season where he hit .300/.387/.478 with High-A Kinston, .311/.385/.502 for Double-A Akron, and in five postseason games hit .455/.500/1.045 for Columbus. To go along with all that, his offense did not suffer one bit all season even though he was making a hard transition from the outfield to second base. He will go out to the Arizona Fall League which starts up on October 12th to continue his conversion to second base and hopefully put a capper on a great season with yet another great performance in the AFL.
  • Jose Constanza - OF, Columbus: 2-for-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB. On base four of five times at the plate, and had a sweet drag bunt he pulled past the pitcher with two outs for an RBI. Quite possibly his last game as an Indian as he is a minor league free agent this offseason and Rule 5 eligible and only chance the Indians have to keep him is to put him on cramped 40-man roster.
  • Ezequiel Carrera - OF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI. Showed some great range in the cavernous outfield at Oklahoma City, and should be Cleveland bound to help add some outfield depth the final week and a half of the season.
  • Cord Phelps - 2B, Columbus: 2-for-5. His two single night was the second least productive performance of the night, which shows how locked in the Clippers lineup was. He is Arizona Fall League bound where he will be playing third base to see if it can add some versatility to his game.
  • Wes Hodges - 1B, Columbus: 0-for-4, K, BB. One-two-three...NOT IT. When the Clippers played this childhood game before the game to see who would be the sacrificial lamb in the lineup to make all the outs while everyone else hits, it appears Hodges was the guy. His outs were all loud though.
  • Jared Goedert - 3B, Columbus: 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B. Finished off his season strong in the playoffs, and now goes home for the offseason to await his cloudy roster fate in November.
  • Brett Carlin - C, Columbus: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B. Was a minor acquisition in August to fill much needed catching need after Lou Marson callup and Wyatt Toregas injury, but turned out to be a significant one.
  • Josh Rodriguez - SS, Columbus: 3-for-4, R, RBI, K. Solid night, and looks like his season is done and won't finish year in Cleveland. Outside shot he could be added to roster though these last few days considering need for middle infielders after injuries to Cabrera and Donald, but I still say if the Indians go that route they go with Argenis Reyes instead.
  • David Huff - SP, Columbus: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K, HR. A classic case of pitching better than the box score indicates. 66% of 92 pitches were strikes...just really made two mistakes that cost him four runs.
  • Zach Putnam - RP, Columbus: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Trio of Putnam, Judy and Pestano could be a big part of Indians bullpen in near future. Announcers kept incorrectly referring to his diving splitter as a changeup the entire inning he pitched.
  • Josh Judy - RP, Columbus: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Very good finish to his season, and future looks bright. Will sit home to await what should be good news this offseason that he is added to 40-man roster in November.
  • Vinnie Pestano - RP, Columbus: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. The Vin-Man finishes another game for the Clippers and closes out another victory. Was seen on TV sipping champagne on the field in the mild post game celebration with the team, but after learning shortly after the game that he was called up to Cleveland he was probably out celebrating with a few cold ones before catching an early flight this morning.
Just a quick note that while the minor league season is now officially over, with Instructional League already in progress (first game is today) and the Arizona Fall League to start up in less than three weeks, "Around the Farm" should continue to be a pretty regular feature on the IPI for the next several weeks.

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