The team that helped the Columbus Clippers claim the International League West Division crown will not be the same team that tries to advance to the Governors Cup later in the month. The September call-ups have deprived the Clippers of several weapons from their bullpen and several more regular contributors from their every day lineup.
With the division already locked up, the Clippers (80-61) have gone on a bit of a losing skid, dropping three straight, four of their last five, and six of their last eight. Despite the tough stretch with the roster in a state of flux, their lead over Indianapolis and Louisville sits at eleven games heading into action over the weekend. They will wrap up their season with one more at home against Toledo before heading to the northwest corner of the state for two more against the Mud Hens before the playoffs start on Wednesday. In addition to the Clippers, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in the North Division have locked up playoffs spots, with the South Division completely up for grabs between four teams who will all finish with records below .500.
In other Clippers news and notes from the Ohio state capital:
C’EST LA VIE, SAY GOODBYE
The Indians promoted three from the Columbus bullpen on Thursday, recalling right-handed pitchers Cody Anderson and Joseph Colon. They also added utility man Erik Gonzalez and purchased the contract of catcher Adam Moore. To make room on the team’s 40-man roster, the Indians designated Clippers outfielder Collin Cowgill for assignment. Cowgill was outrighted by the club back to Triple-A.
Cleveland also selected the contract of right-handed reliever Perci Garner on Wednesday. Shawn Armstrong was recalled by Cleveland on Monday, but was optioned back to Class-A Lake County to make room for Garner on Wednesday.
With the mass exodus of players heading north on the interstate to Cleveland, the Clippers received some reinforcements of their own from nearby Double-A Akron.
Ordomar Valdez joined the Clippers on Friday from Lake County.
ZIMMER HEADING TO ARIZONA
Zimmer, who has hit .250 with a .360 on-base percentage with three doubles, a homer, and nine RBI with the Clippers in 34 games since his promotion to Triple-A, was scheduled to play in the league last fall before a hairline fracture sidelined him.
AGUILAR PROVING PLENTY OF PUNCH
First baseman Jesus Aguilar is preparing for the playoffs with plenty of power on display in the Clippers lineup. He has hit in four straight games and driven in at least one run in each. He has homered in each of the first two games of the series in Columbus against Toledo and has three homers over the last four days and four homers over the last seven games for the Clippers.
The 26-year-old right-handed hitter is hitting .242 with 26 doubles, 29 homers, and 89 RBI on the year.
CHOICE’S HITTING STREAK ENDS AT SEVEN
Michael Choice’s seven-game hitting streak came to an end during the week as the calendar flipped to September. He was 13-for-29 (.448) over the course of the nine-day stretch with a homer and three RBI.
Choice, 26, has hit ten doubles and 13 homers for the Clippers this season while driving in 35 in 68 games.
DIAZ STILL HITTING
The six-game hitting streak for Yandy Diaz came to an end on Thursday with an 0-for-2 performance against Toledo. The Clippers’ 25-year-old utility man hit .333 over the previous ten days to improve his average at Columbus to .325 on the season in 95 games. He has hit .381 against left-handers during his time at Triple-A and at .357 at Huntington Park.
RODRIGUEZ HITS IN FIVE STRAIGHT
Ronny Rodriguez pushed his hitting streak to five games to wrap up the week, including a pair of three-hit games against Louisville and Durham.
The 24-year-old utility man has appeared at six different positions for the Clippers throughout the season, including first, second, and third base, shortstop, center field, and right field.
HOUSE ALLOWS AN EARNED RUN
T.J. House’s streak of ten consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run ended on Friday when he gave up a homer in an inning and two-thirds against Toledo.
Despite the September blemish, House has performed better in a relief role for the Clippers, posting a 2.00 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in 20 outings (18 innings), compared to a 4.82 ERA and 1.89 WHIP in 12 starts.
MORIMANDO MATCHES SEASON-HIGH
Shawn Morimando matched his season-high with eight strikeouts in a no-decision on Monday against Durham. He worked six innings, allowing one run on four hits while walking one batter.
Photo: Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch