Yandy Diaz‘s name was in the news on Tuesday and for all of the right reasons as the Columbus Clippers utility man was named the International League’s Rookie of the Year.
About the only thing that could make his 2016 season more complete would be the notice to pack his bags for Cleveland for some meaningful September baseball.
Barring a very dramatic collapse, the Columbus Clippers are well on their way to another postseason appearance in 2016. With a 73-54 record after scoring ten unanswered runs in Friday night’s 11-5 win over the Toledo Mud Hens, the Clippers have a nine-game lead over the rival Indianapolis Indians in the International League’s West Division with 17 games left on the Columbus schedule.
Over the course of the previous seven days, the Clippers have remained a red hot team, taking two of three from Syracuse and sweeping Durham during the first two series of a three-team homestand from Huntington Park. After a day off on Thursday, they welcomed in Toledo for three games this weekend before taking the ClipShow on the road for three in Indianapolis and two more with the Mud Hens in Toledo.
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A solo home run by Erik Gonzalez in the sixth inning against top Nationals pitching prospect Lucas Giolito was the lone run of the game as the Clippers claimed a 1-0 win over the Syracuse Chiefs on Friday night.
The Clippers, finally with stability back to their pitching staff after the parent Indians stabilized their bullpen, have ripped off wins in eight of 12 games so far in August to push their lead in the International League West to eight games over the Indianapolis Indians. They will look to extend their third-best record in the International League this weekend against Syracuse before hosting Durham and Toledo for three games each to conclude a nine-game homestand.
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The Columbus Clippers offense is alive and well after putting up 26 runs in the last two games, including a matchup at home with Indianapolis on Thursday and the series opener in Louisville on Friday.
Columbus is just 4-3 over their last seven games heading into action on Saturday night. After winning 11-2 last Saturday in Charlotte, they lost 3-2 on Sunday to miss out on a chance to sweep the Knights at home. The Clippers returned home to Columbus for a four-game set with the rival Indianapolis Indians and won a 1-0 contest on a combined six-hitter on Monday before dropping back-to-back 5-4 decisions on Tuesday and Wednesday. They earned the series split on Thursday with a 9-7 victory before a 17-4 shellacking of the Bats in Louisville on Friday.
The Clippers sit in the top spot in the International League’s West Division with a 63-51 record heading into Saturday’s games, leading Indianapolis by five games. The Bats are eight games back while the Toledo Mud Hens sit in the cellar a dozen games out of first. Columbus will finish its four-game series in Louisville before heading to Toledo for three during the week.
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A solid 11-2 win over the Charlotte Knights on Saturday gave the Columbus Clippers a series win with one more to play on Sunday evening. The Clippers put together a quality week, sweeping Pawtucket at home in four straight last weekend. A trip to Norfolk ended with a pair of losses, but the Clippers have guaranteed at least a 3-3 split on their six game road trip.
Columbus (60-48) is sitting in the top spot in the International League’s West Division with a four and a half game lead heading into Saturday’s late action. The Clippers will return home after Sunday’s game in Charlotte to host second place Indianapolis for four straight before bouncing back out on the road with four in Louisville and three more in Toledo.
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The International League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. announced on Monday morning that Columbus utility man Yandy Diaz was named the league’s Batter of the Week for games played between July 18 and July 24.
The 24-year-old was joined by Lehigh Valley pitcher David Buchanan in receiving a weekly honor.
It is the second major accolade for the Indians third base and outfield prospect in the month of July. On the 10th, he participated in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Futures Game in San Diego, California, during the All-Star weekend festivities.
Major League Baseball hosted some of its top minor league prospects on Sunday night for the annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, held at Petco Park in San Diego.
Three Cleveland Indians prospects were selected to the competing teams, including Akron’s Clint Frazier for the U.S. Team and both Lynchburg’s Francisco Mejia and Columbus’ Yandy Diaz for the World Team.
After concluding their series against the Pawtucket Red Sox over the weekend, the Columbus Clippers got back to work within the division with International League West Division matchups against Toledo and Louisville.
Columbus split their final two games in Pawtucket, winning 7-2 last Saturday before a 16-inning 5-4 loss on Sunday. They took their series against Toledo during the week, winning the first and last games of the three-game set, before hitting the road for Louisville. A 6-3 loss to the Bats in the opener was followed by another extra inning loss, a 4-3 defeat in 13 innings.
The loss on Friday dropped the Clippers record to 47-42 on the season and 4-4 to start July. Combined with an Indianapolis win, Columbus is tied for the top spot in the West Division. The Clippers will play two on Saturday in Columbus against Indianapolis before closing out the unofficial first half with a 1:05 PM game on Sunday. After Tuesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game, play will resume on Thursday with four in Toledo.
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The 2016 season may not have started the way that Indians prospect Yandy Diaz would have wanted, but his perseverance and his solid numbers this season were rewarded on Wednesday when he was named to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Diaz joins his former teammate in Akron, outfielder Clint Frazier, and Lynchburg Hillcats catcher Francisco Mejia in giving the Indians franchise three players in the prospect exhibition game and three Cleveland players in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game. The 24-year-old Diaz will be teammates with Mejia on the World roster and replaced Chicago Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario.
The game will be played as part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star weekend festivities at 7 PM ET on Sunday, July 10, from Petco Park in San Diego, California.
The Clippers have returned to their winning ways after some difficult times earlier in the month of June. They wrapped up the month strong, taking two of three in Columbus from the Norfolk Tides before sweeping the IronPigs on their home field in Lehigh Valley.
They opened a four-game weekend series in Pawtucket with a 6-4 loss on Thursday night, but bounced back with a 5-3 win on Friday night, despite rain delaying the game late. The win pushed the Clippers (44-38) into a one and a half game lead in the International League West Division over their rivals, the Indianapolis Indians, who were swept in a doubleheader in Toledo.
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It has not been a good week in Columbus for the Clippers, who added several more losses to their season record. After taking the series from the Chiefs in Syracuse with wins in the first two games, the Clippers dropped the finale in a 2-1 loss. They returned home to Columbus on Monday to start a seven-game homestand, but lost their series with Rochester by dropping three of the first four games from Huntington Park. They hosted Norfolk on Friday night, winning 10-7 in a slugfest from Columbus.
The tough week for the Clippers (39-36) has left the club stranded in second place in the International League West Division, trailing the rival Indianapolis Indians.
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A five-run seventh inning fell too short for Columbus on Thursday afternoon as the club dropped a 13-10 decision to Buffalo. It gave the Bisons a three-game sweep of the Clippers and is the second longest losing streak of the year for the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate.
Despite the series sweep, the Clippers remain in the top spot in the International League West Division at 26-20, two and a half games in front of Indianapolis and Louisville, prior to Louisville’s night game on Thursday.
The Clippers will continue their homestand this weekend with a three-game series against the Durham Bulls before hitting the road for three in Buffalo and four against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. They will return the following Monday for an eight-game home stretch in seven days.
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