It was a big offensive week for the Columbus Clippers, as the team split the six-game series against the Memphis Redbirds on the road last week. The offense was led by third baseman Nolan Jones, who hit in every game of the series and had several multi-hit games. Oscar Gonzalez and Connor Marabell also had hot bats against the Redbirds. The pitching was not quite as impressive, as the starters and bullpen ran into problems throughout the week. Kirk McCarty continued to be the most consistent starter for the team, earning his seventh win of the season on Wednesday. In major league news, Cleveland optioned James Karinchak to Columbus on Saturday, where the young reliever will work to get back on track after an excellent first half of the season. He did not pitch in the Memphis series, but Clippers fans may see him on the mound at Huntington Park when it starts a homestand against the St. Paul Saints this week.
8/24 – L 8-4, W: Liberatore, L: Broom, S: Whitley
8/25 – W 3-2, W: McCarty, L: Thompson, S: Gose
8/26 – W 12-3, W: Koch, L: Oviedo
8/27 – L 4-2, W: Woodford, L: Peacock, S: Cruz
8/28 – L 14-12, W: Parsons, L: Fillmyer
8/29 – W 6-5, W: Gose, L: Cruz, S: Broom
Player of the Week
3B Nolan Jones – 10-24, 2 HR, 2B, 9 R, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 7 SO
Nolan Jones was on fire this week, logging hits in every game of the series. This included a three-hit game on Thursday and two-hit games on both Friday and Saturday. Along the way, Jones hit his 12th and 13th home runs and his 25th double of the season. He also scored a whopping nine runs against the Redbirds. Most impressively, Jones was consistent at the plate all week. His power has been developing all season, but he has not hit as consistently as fans, and likely Cleveland brass, would like. This could be the week we all look back on as the week Jones really started to put it all together against Triple-A pitching. He did get hurt sliding into second base on Sunday and left with trainers, unfortunately.
OF Oscar Gonzalez – 9-26, 3 HR, 2 2B, 6 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO
Oscar had a huge week at the plate. He hit three home runs and two doubles against the Redbirds, with four RBI and six runs scored. Gonzalez, a free swinger, even worked two walks against St. Louis’ Triple-A squad. He hit in five of six games in this series, including a 4-5 performance (with a home run and a double) on Thursday night. Gonzalez has found his groove against Triple-A pitching, now hitting .310/.356/.567 with ten home runs. He looks more and more like a viable major league bat with each game he plays.
OF Connor Marabell – 13-24, 3B, 3 2B, 3 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO
Marabell also had a monster series against the Redbirds. The outfielder hit over .500 on the week, including a triple and three doubles. Marabell had at least two hits in every game of this series, and struck out only four times. He has put together a really good season for the Clippers, hitting .301/.345/.450, with 20 doubles. It will be interesting to see what Cleveland does with Marabell in the offseason, as they have some decisions to make about the future of their outfield. But Marabell is a player who always brings the hustle, plays both corner outfield spots well, and seems to hit when it matters. He has been fun to watch all season.
RP Robert Broom – 2 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 0 SO, SV
Broom got the start in the series opener against highly touted St. Louis prospect Matthew Liberatore, and it did not go well. Broom lasted only .1 innings, and gave up three hits, six earned runs, three walks and a home run to another St. Louis top prospect, Nolan Gorman. Broom fared much better on Friday night, when he pitched the final .2 innings of the game and did not give up a hit, walk or run. He then got the save in the series finale Sunday, pitching the final inning and only giving up a walk. The 24-year old sidearmer was a tenth round pick in 2018 and has spent the whole season at Triple-A. Cleveland will need to revamp its bullpen this offseason, but Broom’s performance this season has been too inconsistent to warrant serious major league consideration.
RP Kyle Nelson – 3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO
Nelson is another reliever who had one decent outing and one bad outing this week. On Wednesday, Nelson pitched 1.1 innings of shutout ball. Although he did not give u a run, Nelson gave up two hits, two walks and struck out three in that outing. Things were rougher for the lefty on Saturday night. Over 1.2 innings, Nelson gave up five hits, five earned runs, walked one and struck out two. Nelson is another pitcher whose inconsistent performance this season makes his future with Cleveland questionable at best.
SP Cody Morris – 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO
Including Morris on the “Who’s Not” list may be a bit of an overstatement, but he battled through his shortest and toughest start of his short Triple-A career so far. On Thursday Morris lasted only 3.1 innings, giving up two earned runs along with four hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. It certainly is no cause for alarm for those tracking Morris’ progress, but worth noting that the Redbirds found some success against the promising righty in his fourth start for the Clippers.
C Eric Rodriguez – On August 24 Rodriguez was promoted from Akron to Columbus.
SP Logan S. Allen – On August 25 Cleveland recalled LHP Allen from Columbus.
SP Tanner Tully – On August 26 Tully was promoted from Akron to Columbus.
SS Jonathan Lopez – On August 26 Lopez was promoted from Lynchburg to Columbus.
RP James Karinchak – On August 28 Cleveland optioned Karinchak to Columbus.
On Tuesday, August 31, the Clippers begin a homestand with a six-game series against the St. Paul Saints, Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate. All games will be played at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus.
Tuesday, 8/31 – first pitch at 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday, 9/1 – first pitch at 6:15 p.m.
Thursday, 9/2 – first pitch at 12:05 p.m.
Friday, 9/3 – first pitch at 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, 9/4 – first pitch at 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, 9/5 – first pitch at 4:05 p.m.