When you are trying to build a baseball team you need to find cornerstone players that are not only successful but are also have high quality personality wise. The Columbus Clippers have just that in their closer Preston Guilmet. Guilmet is not just a great baseball player, which he has shown saving 13 out of his 14 chances, but also a great person who his teammates and manager love to be around.
Guilmet grew up in Rosefield California, where he played pitcher and infield. He dominated the high school level, giving up just five runs in 70.1 innings pitch his senior year, along with a 14:1 strikeout to walk ratio. During his junior and senior years he has voted team captain and all-metro pitcher.
The Columbus Clippers have recently been doing their best Bullpen Mafia impressions, as the three best bullpen pieces for the Clippers, Fernando Nieve, Matt Langwell and Preston Guilmet have been nothing short of spectacular this season. Between the three pitchers they have throw a combined 64.1 innings while only allowing 46 hits, 15 earned runs, 21 walks and striking out 68 batters. The bullpen roles seem to have been clearly defined with Nieve coming in as a middle reliever, Langwell as the setup man and Guilmet as the closer for the Clippers.
Carlos Carrasco has struggled in Cleveland with control, not just over the baseball but over his emotions as well. During his only start this season in Cleveland, Carrasco was pitching poorly against New York Yankees when he gave up his second home run in less than four innings. The next batter, Kevin Youkilis, Carrasco intentionally hit and was ejected from the game and suspended for eight games.
After getting suspended for the second time for hitting a batter as an Indian, rather than take a roster spot serving his suspension, Carrasco was sent down to Triple-A Columbus, with the hopes he can pitch well and show that he is worth bringing back. So far he has pitched well, going 23.2 innings over five games, giving up only 14 hits, five runs, four walks and one home run while striking out 24 batters and earning a 1-0 record with one save.
Many fans this spring saw the signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka and were optimistic that he could come in and help this Indians rotation. Unfortunately, this has not been the case as he has failed to find success at even the minor league level, pitching 20.2 innings with an ERA near four with 18 walks and an 0-2 record with Triple-A Columbus.
Matsuzaka has had a relatively successful yet short career in the majors, helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2007. In 2008 he posted his best season ever, going 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 154 strikeouts. After that 2008 season he began to struggle with injuries as his stats became worse with less innings pitched, leading up to having Tommy John surgery in 2011. He attempted to come back in 2012 but posted awful numbers for the Red Sox going 1-7 with an ERA of 8.28.
The Columbus Clippers have started the season well, opening with a 6-5 record. The key so far to the Clippers success has been driving in runs to have very high scoring games. The driving force for the offense has been Jeremy Hermida, who leads the Clippers in home runs, runs batted in, walks and batting average.
So far this season, it seems that Hermida has rebounded from an injury plagued 2012 season to refind his 2011 form. In 11 games this season for the Clippers, his batting average is .297 with an OBP of .409. Hermida however is not just a contact hitter, as he already as driven in 10 RBI’s, placing him third in the International League, and a slugging percentage at .568, which is currently in the top 20 in the International League.
Hermida was the 11th pick in the 2002 First Year Player Draft by the Florida Marlins, straight out of high school in Marietta, Georgia. He played right field in high school the majority of the time but has also played left and center field, an ability he carried with him after he was drafted.
The excitement of the new season is not just contained up on the shore of Lake Erie, but is going strong in Columbus as the Clippers start their new season. This season marks their fifth year in their beautiful new ballpark, Huntington Park.
The Clippers ended last year by closely missing the playoffs, finishing with a record of 75-69. Last season was viewed as a disappointment, as their 2011 season was capped off by winning their second consecutive Governors Cup. This season however is viewed with the same sense of strong optimism that follows the Indians into the new season.
The Clippers this season are lead by a new manager Chris Tremie. Tremie played in the majors from 1995 through 2004, being a journeyman moving through six organizations. After his career was over, he started managing for the Tribe through the Gulf Coast Indians, working his way up to the Akron Aeros for the last two seasons and now the Clippers this year.
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the young players on the 40-man roster that is a part of the Indians’ minor league system.
By Christian Petrila
After five full seasons in the minors, Indians outfielder Tim Fedroff took a massive step toward making his long-awaited Major League debut when he was added to the 40-man roster on Nov. 20.
Fedroff was a seventh round pick for the Indians back in 2008 and has been nothing short of a consistent hitter throughout his time in the minors. For his minor league career, Fedroff is hitting .296 with 23 home runs and 204 RBI in 495 games, but last season was when he really began capturing the attention on many Indians fans.
By Evan Matsumoto
The Indians not-so-dramatic slide into mediocrity this season was far from unexpected. Cleveland now sits solidly in third place in the A.L. Central, barely nudging out the Kansas City Royals for bronze.
Eleven games out of first place, and with two-thirds of this west-coast road trip to go, the team’s roster needs a bat that will spark some sort of offense.
Enter Tim Fedroff.
By Evan Matsumoto
Jeanmar Gomez is a familiar name around Cleveland; Gomez split the 2011 season between Triple-A Columbus and Cleveland—ultimately ending his season on the Tribe roster.
Gomez is no longer in Cleveland’s clubhouse despite starting the 2012 season where he ended the last one. The 6-foot-3-inch, 200 pound righty is now in Columbus working on the things that will get him back to the big league.
“I’m working right now with my fastball, the command of my fastball.” Gomez said. “Try(ing) to throw it (at) the knees, (get) movement on my sinker over the plate (and) working with my secondary stuff.”
By Christian Petrila
Call it strange, call it cliché, call it whatever you will, but when the Indians released Trevor Crowe on Monday, I could feel a part of my childhood leave with him.
Allow me to explain.
As passionate an Indians fan as I am, it took me the longest time to go to a professional baseball game. My parents tried to take me to an Indians game in 1997. I was four-years old and it was a Sunday afternoon game against the Cubs. I remember the clear blue sky and the beautiful field. I also remember the loud noise of the crowd that made the game unbearable at that age, so we left after maybe two innings. (I know. I’m ashamed of myself in retrospect).
By Christian Petrila
Three Columbus Clippers made it to Buffalo to play for the International League All Stars in the Triple-A All Star Game: Matt LaPorta, Cord Phelps and Russ Canzler. The three leftBuffaloleaving much to be desired.
Matt LaPorta started in left field and would play the entire game. His first at bat was against Graham Godfrey (OAK) with two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the first. On a 1-1 pitch, LaPorta grounded to third base. It would have been a tailor-made double play, but the throw to first from Jake Elmore (ARI) short-hopped first baseman Mike Hessman (NYM). LaPorta would be stranded there as the next batter flew out to left.
By Evan Matsumoto
The International League announced the rosters for the 25th International League All-Star game in late June.
LaPorta is no stranger to all-star games—in 2008, LaPorta was named to the Double-A and Minor League All-Star teams by Baseball America. The now three-time All-Star also represented the United States in the same year at the Olympics in Beijing, China.