Despite a three-run ninth inning of their own on Saturday, similar to that done by the parent Cleveland Indians in Anaheim, the Columbus Clippers fell short in a 15-12 slugfest loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Huntington Park.
The Clippers saw three-hit games from Ronny Rodriguez, Jesus Aguilar, and Collin Cowgill and had 16 hits as a team, but the New York Yankees affiliate tagged Ross Detwiler for eight runs and reliever Austin Adams for six. Former Indians player Nick Swisher was a leading charge in the RailRiders offense, going 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBI, and four runs scored in the two hole.
Columbus is now an even 6-6 for the month of June, but has lost three straight. They took three of four last weekend from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and won three of five against the Indianapolis Indians during the week, including a split in their doubleheader on June 9. The RailRiders have bested the Clippers in the first two games of their weekend set to drop Columbus to 35-28. They still hold a two and a half game lead on Indianapolis in the International League West.
In other Clippers news from Columbus:
While the parent Cleveland Indians have danced all around the .500 mark through the first month of the season, all of their children are performing well at the minor league level.
This very much includes their Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, who won their eighth straight game and second in a row in dramatic fashion with a 5-4 victory at Huntington Park on Thursday afternoon over the Charlotte Knights.
The Clippers finish their homestand with a perfect 8-0 record.
The Cleveland Indians announced Wednesday afternoon that the team has activated right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall from the 15-day disabled list, as expected.
In order to make room on the roster for Chisenhall, the Indians answered the unknown portion of that transaction by optioning outfielder Collin Cowgill to Triple-A Columbus.
While the time table on Brantley is still unclear, he reported to Columbus with the Indians in Chicago over the weekend to work out with the club. He likely did not get as much work in as the Indians would have liked because the Triple-A Clippers had each of their first three games cancelled on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday by the bad weather in the area.
The same problem affected Chisenhall, who was the closer of the two set to return. The Tribe’s primary right fielder was set to begin his rehab assignment with the team on Thursday, but those weather issues kept him out of the lineup and unable to get in the action that the Indians wanted to see from their long-time lefty.
When the Cleveland Indians take the field next Monday against the Boston Red Sox, it looks as though they will be missing each of their starting corner outfielders in their Opening Day lineup from Progressive Field.
Such was the tone out of Goodyear, Arizona this morning as the Indians announced that right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall will open the season on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist injury, separate from the right forearm issue that has plagued him throughout the spring. In addition, Michael Brantley still appears likely to end up on the DL to start the season, although no formal move had been made by the club at the time of this post.
With Chisenhall and Brantley sidelined, it opened the door for outfielders Marlon Byrd and Collin Cowgill, who were both informed that, barring unforeseen circumstances between now and Opening Day, that each will be with the club to open the season.
There were plenty of questions surrounding the Cleveland Indians this offseason and how they would construct the best possible roster for 2016. With less than two weeks to go until the Tribe takes Progressive Field by storm on April 4, some of those quandaries are starting to resolve themselves.
The most pressing concern has been the state of the Indians outfield and the most worrisome of the problems may have worked itself out.
The Doctor is in.
The baseball life of new Indians outfielder Collin Cowgill has been that of the platoon man, and while he looks to call Cleveland home in 2016, his role with his new organization will be more of the same.
Cowgill was set to be non-tendered by the Angels in early December after an injury-depleted 2015 season when the Indians swooped in to purchase the outfielder from Los Angeles before he could hit the open market. They then avoided arbitration with their new man and came to terms on a one-year, $1 million contract for the coming season.
The 29-year-old has not had luck on his side throughout his Major League playing days, as several fluke injuries have kept him out of the lineup consistently and prevented his career from taking off the way he might have liked. He is also well traveled, as his acquisition by Cleveland was his fourth new city in four years and the fifth of his professional career.
There are some intriguing battles going on this spring for the Indians as they look to find their 25-man roster heading into the regular season. While recent history has shown that the team hasn’t always brought forth the best 25 men for the job when camp breaks, the team does have some decisions to make before April 4th arrives.
Over the next six weeks, the team needs to find arms for the bullpen and to determine its final member of the starting rotation. While both areas are important moving forward, the outfield mix may be the biggest immediate area of concern for the Tribe and has been, based on the number of offseason moves made to try to strengthen the depth at the position once it was determined that Michael Brantley’s season would be delayed.
It may still be a point of emphasis if there is any validity to the rumors that the club remains interested in free agent Austin Jackson.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Wednesday night that they have acquired outfielder Collin Cowgill from the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations. In a corresponding roster move, reliever Nick Hagadone was not tendered a contract and has been designated for assignment, creating a spot on the 40-man roster for their new outfielder.
The 29-year-old Cowgill joins his fourth organization in four years. A former fifth round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2008 draft, he was traded in a five-player trade in December of 2011 to the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics traded him a little over a year later to the New York Mets, who traded him in late June, 2013, to the Angels for a minor leaguer.
He had been with the Angels organization for the last two and a half seasons.