Clippers Full of New Faces to Start 2014
Alex Krempasky | On 05, Apr 2014
The Columbus Clippers start their 2014 International League campaign Friday against the Indianapolis Indians, in the first of three games in the opening series.
The Clippers were originally slated to begin their season on Thursday, but constant showers in Columbus forced the game to be rained out and reschedule the game for a Saturday doubleheader.
The Cleveland Indians’ AAA-affiliate is coming off a 71-73 in 2013 and have new faces replacing similar faces who have been called up by the Indians or have moved on to another organization.
The 2014 starting rotation looks a bit different than it in 2013 with the additions of Josh Tomlin, Tyler Cloyd and Travis Banwart. Clippers pitchers Trevor Bauer and T.J. House return to the starting rotation after making a combined total of 46 starts, 13 wins and 216 strikeouts over the course of the 2013 season.
Tomlin joins the Clippers after having Tommy John in 2013. He made one appearance (total of two innings) for Cleveland before shutting down for the season. Tomlin pitched 165.1 innings, won 12 games and struck out 89 batters for the Indians in 2011.
Cloyd comes to the Indians organization after spending the past six years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He spent most of the 2014 season with the Phillies’ AAA-affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (19 GS, 5-9, 4.71 ERA, 93 K) before being called up by the Phillies. Cloyd pitched 13 games for the Phillies, including 11 starts, and ended the year 2-7, 41 K and 6.56 ERA. He went 15-1 in 2012 with three wins coming with the Reading Phillies (AA) and the rest with Lehigh Valley.
Banwart spent the past four years with the Oakland Athletics AAA-affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats. In his time with the River Cats, Banwart went 32-22 with a 4.52 ERA and struck out 420 batters. He did not see any major league experience in four years with the Athletics organization.
The Clippers bullpen are made up of players who played for the Clippers or the, then, Akron Aeros in 2013. Three Clippers relievers are returning to the team in 2014 including C.C. Lee, Nick Hagadone and Scott Barnes, and two Akron players, Austin Adams and Brett Brach, are making their next step up the Indians organizational ladder this season.
At the catcher position, the Clippers have one returning player and three new faces on the Opening Day roster for 2014. Roberto Perez spent part of the season with Akron and got called up to the Clippers and played 67 games for Columbus.
Luke Carlin spent this past season with the Salt Lake City Bees (AAA-Angels) after playing 62 games for Columbus and four games for Cleveland in 2012.
Matt Treanor, who is 38-years old, did not play at all in 2013 after appearing in 36 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. He has been in baseball since 1994 but got his major league debut with the, then, Florida Marlins in 2004 and played with them until 2008. Since then, Treanor played for Detroit (2009), Texas (2010-11) and Kansas City (2011). He amounted 469 games, .221 average, 281 hits and 18 home runs in the major leagues. In 2011, Treanor suffered a concussion with the Royals and has seen reduced playing time at the major league level since then.
At first base, the Clippers have David Cooper returning, as well as the addition of Jesus Aguilar from Akron and Bryan LaHair, who spent the 2013 playing in Japan with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks where he played 111 games, had a .230 average with 80 hits and 16 home runs. LaHair played 130 games for the Chicago Cubs in 2012 and was named to the 2012 National League All-Star Team.
The Clippers have second base is anchored down by Jose Ramirez who spent the entire 2013 season with the Akron Aeros, where he played 113 games with a .272 average and 131 hits. He also played 15 games with the Indians as a part of the 40-man roster at the end of the 2013 regular season.
At shortstop for the Clippers is Justin Sellers, who was purchased from the Dodgers on March 2. He spent most of 2013 with the Dodgers’ AAA-affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, where he played 89 games, with a .270 batting average and 88 hits. Sellers played 82 MLB games in his three years in the Dodgers organization.
Returning Clipper Ryan Rohlinger, who played 92 games for the Clippers in 2013, is starting at third base this year. In 2013, he had a .266 batting average and had 85 hits, five of which were home runs.
Cleveland Indians centerfielder Michael Bourn will be starting the 2014 season with the Clippers on rehabilitation, but the Clippers’ outfield will have a solid daily lineup with Matt Carson, Tim Fedroff and Carlos Moncrief.
Carson spent the entire 2013 season with the Clippers, hitting .252 in the 121 games he played. In his 12 seasons, Carson has spent time in the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees organizations. He has been at the AAA level for six seasons, but has made 92 game appearances at the MLB level including 46 with Oakland, 26 with Minnesota and 20 with Cleveland.
Just like Carson, Fedroff spent the entire 2013 season with the Clippers. He hit .242 in the 136 games he played in for the Clippers with 124 hits and six home runs. Fedroff has played his entire career in the Cleveland Indians organization.
The final piece of the Clippers outfield is Carlos Moncrief, who will make his AAA debut this season. Moncrief played 129 games for the Akron Aeros in 2012 with a .253 batting average, 139 hits and 17 home runs.