Image: Lincoln Horsley

The Clippers started slow this past week against the visiting Toledo Mud Hens. Columbus dropped the first three games of the six game series before winning the last three, including a doubleheader on Saturday. In the first of the two Saturday games, Cody Morris made the start, pitching four scoreless and hitless innings on the way to the Clippers’ first win of the week.

Catcher Ryan Lavarnway returned from the Olympics, where he represented Team Israel, and hit two home runs upon his return to Huntington Park. Yu Chang and Logan S. Allen were both called up to Cleveland this week. It was good timing for Allen as he had his best outing of the season last Sunday in five innings of relief. And with the addition of Chang, four of the six infielders on the major league roster – Chang, Ernie Clement, Owen Miller and Andres Gimenez – have logged at-bats for the Clippers this season.

Day-by-Day

8/10: L, 9-4 vs. Toledo (W: Ricardo PInto, L: Kyle Nelson)

8/11: L, 7-4 vs. Toledo (W: Nivaldo Rodriguez, L: J.C. Mejia, S: Miguel Del Pozo)

8/12: PPD vs. Toledo

8/13: L, 5-4 vs. Toledo (W: Logan Shore, L: Kirk McCarty, S: Alex Lange)

8/14: W, 4-2 vs. Toledo (W: Juan Mota, L: Pedro Payano) – made up from 8/12

8/14: W, 4-1 vs. Toledo (W: Heath Fillmyer, L: Drew Carlton, S: Kyle Dowdy)

8/15: W, 8-7 vs. Toledo (W: Robert Broom, L: Mark Leiter Jr., S: Jordan Stephens)

Player of the Week

1B Trenton Brooks – 7-18, HR, 2 2B, 5 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 5 SO

Brooks has settled in as the everyday first baseman for the Clippers since Bobby Bradley was called up to Cleveland mid-season. Brooks has proven he is up to the job, playing well defensively and providing timely hitting from the top and bottom of the lineup. Manager Andy Tracy plays Brooks all over the lineup, from leadoff to number 9 on any given day. Brooks did not disappoint this week, hitting a home run, two doubles, scoring five runs and knocking in four more. Brooks seems to hit when it matters most, and when he is in the lineup one takes notice of his timely offense and solid defense. He ended the week with a double and two runs scored to help the Clippers secure the series split.

Who’s Hot

SP Cody Morris – Morris followed up a spectacular Triple-A debut last Sunday with another impressive start on Saturday night against Toledo. Morris did not give up a hit or a run over four innings pitched. He fanned five and walked two in his start. For the second time in as many games, Manager Andy Tracy pulled Morris after four innings, so he was not in line for the win despite exiting with a 1-0 lead. The Clippers are likely monitoring Morris’s workload closely, hence the reason for the early hooks. Morris suffered an injury earlier in the season so it makes sense to be careful with his pitch count at this point in the season. Not to worry Cleveland fans. Based on these first two starts, the future seems bright for the young righthander.

C Ryan Lavarnway – 5-13, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO

Lavarnway returned from the Olympics this week with a hot bat. He slammed a home run in the first game of a double header on Saturday night and another on Sunday afternoon to help secure the series split with Toledo. Over four games played during the week, Lavarnway also scored three runs and knocked in three more as he got back into the swing of things here stateside. With Larvarnway back and Mike Rivera promoted from Double-A Akron, it will be interesting to see how Andy Tracy splits playing time behind the plate between the two of them and Gavin Collins.

OF/DH Oscar Gonzalez – 7-21, HR, 3 R, RBI, 3 SO

Gonzalez had an impressive week at the plate, capping it off with a home run in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Gonzalez did not walk at all during the series, but also struck out only three times. Gonzalez, a free swinger who must rely on contact to succeed offensively, hit in five of six games this week and notched two multi-hit games against Toledo.

SS Gabriel Arias – 7-23, 2 2B, RBI, BB, 5 SO

Arias continued to hit this week, notching a base hit in each game of the series. He only had two extra base hits and one multi-hit game all week, which may seem lackluster in comparison to his performance in recent weeks. But he has hit in 10 of his last 11 games and rides a six-game hitting streak into next week’s series against Omaha. Most importantly, Arias continues to show week in and week out that he can handle Triple-A pitching.

Who’s Not

3B/OF Nolan Jones – 2-15, HR, 2 R, 4 BB, 5 SO

It was a rough week at the plate for Jones, as he had two hits in the first game of the series on Tuesday, and failed to record a hit the rest of the week. One of Jones’ two hits was a home run, his eleventh of the season. But his bat went cold for the remainder of the series. Jones did avoid disaster in his final at-bat of Wednesday’s game. He came up hobbling after his fourth at-bat of the day and seemed to hurt his right ankle or calf. Luckily, after Thursday’s rainout, Jones was back in the lineup on Friday and played the rest of the series.

OF DJ Johnson – 4-19, 2B, R, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 6 SO

Johnson started the week off with two hits and ended the week with two hits. Between these two games his bat was quiet against Toledo’s pitching staff. He did work six walks on the week, to go along with six strikeouts. Johnson has been streaky this season. He has 10 home runs but is hitting only .222. He ended the series on a positive note, going 2-4 with three RBI and making a spectacular catch in right field. Hopefully his performance on Sunday will carry into next week’s series against Omaha. Johnson would help his cause for a return engagement to Cleveland if he could be a bit more consistent at the plate.

Transactions

C Ryan Lavarnway – Columbus activated Larvarnway from the temporarily inactive list on August 10 after he returned from the Olympics.

RP Alex Young – Cleveland recalled LHP Young from Columbus on August 12.

SP Logan S. Allen – Cleveland recalled LHP Allen from Columbus on August 13.

INF Yu Chang – Cleveland recalled Chang from Columbus on August 13.

RP Francisco Perez – Cleveland optioned LHP Perez to Columbus on August 13.

RP Anthony Gose – Columbus activated LHP Gose from the temporarily inactive list on August 13 after he returned from representing Team USA at the Olympics.

On Deck

Columbus opens a six game series at the Omaha Storm Chasers on Tuesday, August 17. Omaha is the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

The Clippers continue their two-week road trip on Tuesday, August 24, when they open a six game series against the Memphis Red Birds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

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