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Sailing with the Clippers: 8/15/13 to 8/21/13

Sailing with the Clippers: 8/15/13 to 8/21/13
August 22, 2013
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With 12 games remaining in the 2013 season it appears as though the Clippers have run out of time. At 64-68, Columbus stands 7.5 games back of the Wild Card spot and even further in the International League West at 9 affairs. Boding some sort of miracle, the Clippers will be watching this year’s postseason from their couches.

On a positive note, Columbus is playing well and boasted a 4-2 record over the past week. If the Clippers can work its way back to .500 come season’s end, it would be considered a great season considering all the transactions and injuries this team has faced throughout the course of the year.

Columbus opened the week by seizing two victories against the Indianapolis Indians to split the four-game series. Right-hander Paolo Espino lead the Clippers with a strong six-inning performance on Aug. 15 in a 4-2 win and catcher Omir Santos paced Columbus to a 5-2 victory the following night.

The Clippers then hosted the Norfolk Tides for four matchups and ended up splitting that series as well. StarterTrevor Bauer was hammered in a 8-1 loss in game one but the team rebounded and took the second contest 4-2. In his last outing in a Clippers uniform, right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka fell victim to a 7-2 defeat as he allowed five runs over four frames. However, Espino came to the rescue again and hurled another fantastic game to propel Columbus over Norfolk 5-3 in the finale.

Catching Wind:

Paolo Espino, SP
2 G, 2-0, 11.0 IP, 2.45 ERA, 13 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 13 K, 1 BB

Espino turned in a very impressive week, notching two victories against the Indianapolis Indians and the Norfolk Tides. He’s won four-consecutive starts in Columbus and continues to post a high strikeout to walk ratio. In that span Espino has fanned 31 batters while walking just five. On the year at Triple-A, he’s accumulated a 4-4 record with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts and nine relief appearances. At 26 years of age, Espino is a bit old to be considered a prospect but the way he is pitching it not unreasonable to think he’ll be pitching on the big stage in the near future.

Ezequiel Carrera, OF
5 G, .400 BA (8-for-20), .429 OBP, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 SB

Carrera collected a pair of multiple-hit games across his last five contests and has boosted his average from .239 to .248 in that stretch. Although he had one of his best weeks of the season from a hitting standpoint, Carrera was not much of a threat on the base paths as the outfielder scored just one run and swiped one bag. The biggest positive from this week is definitely that Carrera did not strike out a single time. As the season concludes he must finish strong so that Cleveland will consider promoting him come September.

Preston Guilmet, RP
2 G, 0-0, 1.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 SV, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB

As he always seems to be, Guilmet was lights out in his previous two appearances. In 1.2 innings, the closer secured two saves to bring his season total to 20. Between Guilmet and fellow reliever Matt Langwell, the duo offers the best and most reliable late-season call-ups for Cleveland. Either one would be a solid selection but it’s quite possible that both may earn a promotion to help bolster the Indians’ bullpen.

Stranded at Sea:

Trevor Bauer, SP
1 G, 1-0, 6.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB

Bauer struggled mightily in his lone start this past week. The right-hander could not find his command as he walked four batters and was rocked for six runs over two innings. Bauer has been phenomenal in stretches this season but he always had his fair share of lackluster outing. He definitely has the stuff to be a big league pitcher but it’s clear that he needs to spend more time in the minors to correct his control issues. Bauer is 6-6 with a 4.16 ERA this season in Columbus.

Chun-Hsiu Chen, INF
6 G, .000 BA (0-for-20), .130 OBP, 2 R, 0 2B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 5 K, 3 BB, 2 SB

Chen came into the season like a lion and is going out like a lamb. The first baseman went hitless in 20 at-bats over the past six contests and is now batting a dismal .215 with the Clippers. At this point, Chen seems to be overmatched and like Bauer, he certainly needs more time to continue to develop. A hot end to the 2013 season would be a step in the right direction.

Important Numbers:

6: The Clippers are losing playoff life fast and the Pawtucket Red sox are dangerously close to clinching the Wild Card spot. Columbus’ elimination number is 6.

9: Outfielder Tim Fedroff has successfully stolen nine-consecutive bags. Carrera had a streak of 10 earlier but it was snapped after being thrown out in a game on Aug. 18.

On The Move:

August 15

INF David Cooper signed to Minor League contract, assigned to Columbus, and placed on 7 Day DL (mid-back strain)

August 20

RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka granted his unconditional release

On-Deck:

8/22- vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 p.m.
8/23- vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:15 p.m.
8/24- vs. Gwinnett Braves, 7:05 p.m.
8/25- vs. Gwinnett Braves, 6:05 p.m.
8/26- @ Louisville Bats, 7:05 p.m.
8/27- @ Louisville Bats, 7:05 p.m.
8/28- vs. Louisville Bats, 7:05 p.m.

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