A View on the Farm: Columbus Clippers


This season at Huntington Park hasn’t been all gravy for the Columbus Clippers. Much like their parent club, they are mired in last place in the International League’s Western Division with a 36-48 record, good enough for the second worst record in the league altogether…behind only the punchless Buffalo Bisons at 28-51. Granted, this has been a transitional year for the Clippers as this is their first year under their current deal affiliating them with the Indians.

Despite the lack of wins, fans in Columbus have enjoyed seeing Cleveland stars rehab while with the Clippers, even if the Indians’ fans are tired of seeing their stud players get hurt. Travis Hafner, Fausto Carmona, and Rafael Betancourt have all spent time in the state capital of Ohio this season, the latter of which recorded a win in today’s 8-1 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens.

In typical Tribe fashion, the Clippers swing some of the best bats in the league. Their .277 team average is currently tied with Norfolk for the IL’s best. Columbus’ 69 home runs are 4th in the league, while their 396 runs scored is 2nd in the IL, only three behind Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the pitching for Columbus. The staff has given up more home runs (75), more runs scored (420), and more hits (831) than the rest of the league. Even worse, no other team in the IL has given up more than 800 hits or 400 runs, not even the lowly Buffalo Bisons. The club also maintains the worst ERA (4.67) and lowest strikeout total (506) for the league. And the Clippers have only recorded ONE shutout…ONE!

Columbus is sending three younger stars to the Triple-A All-Star Game in Portland, Oregon: catcher Wyatt Toregas, infielder Andy Marte, and outfielder Jordan Brown…all of whom are in their mid-20’s. Marte and Brown are both in the top 10 in the IL for hitting, and are the leaders for the Clippers in RBIs with 46 and 42, respectively. Torregas has done an admirable job catching during the absence of Chris Gimenez, with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs in just a handful of games.

Top prospect Matt LaPorta continues to impress as he has raked in 10 home runs, 38 RBIs, and a .307 batting average. Even better, his strikeout to walk ratio remains rock solid, something that can hopefully keep intact by the time he reaches Cleveland.

Perhaps the brightest spot for Columbus this season is the attendance marks. The Clippers have averaged 9,347 fans a game at Huntington Park, tops in the league. They are the only club to average over 9,000 thus far. Here’s to a great finish to the season for some great fans!