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Little help for Cleveland pitching woes in Columbus

By jcfortun Published: July 10, 2009

The Indians pitching problems this year go much deeper than just the major-league organization. Cleveland's Triple A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, are hurting just as bad for pitching help. The Clippers' pitching staff ranks last in the International League in ERA (4.67),  home runs allowed (77), strikeouts (534). They lead the league in hits allowed (856) and runs (434) as well as earned runs (386). Here is a look at the pitchers on the Clippers roster:


Hector Rondon

One of the best pitching prospects in the organization, the right-hander opened his first stint in Triple A with six innings of no-hit baseball on Wednesday. He was 7-5 with a 2.75 ERA at Akron with 73 strikeouts in 72 innings before the call up. He struck out eight in his Columbus debut.

Chuck Lofgren

Lofgren went from being one of the top pitching prospects in the entire organization to all but disappearing last season. This year however, the left-hander appears to be back on track somewhat. Lofgren began the year going 3-1 with Akron with a 1.48 ERA and was quickly promoted to Triple-A Columbus where he has faced some growing pains. Through eight starts he is 3-5 with a 5.03 ERA, but was able to put together his best performance so far on Thursday. He pitched seven innings, struck out six and allowed no runs.

Per the Columbus Dispatch:

Manager Torey Lovullo called Lofgren's performance "easily" the best of his eight starts since coming up from Akron.

"Today he didn't make many mistakes and he was mostly fastball-slider," Lovullo said. "He was ahead of a lot of hitters. He was strike one. He was aggressive in the zone and put some pressure on the hitters. The ball was falling off the plane in both directions.

Fausto Carmona

Carmona’s numbers have been decent after being banished to the minors, but that doesn’t mean he has returned to his old form. He is currently 2-0 with a .98 ERA in the minors with one complete game under his belt (at Akron). It is hard tell when Carmona will return to the big league club. It is even harder to tell if he will ever return to dominance he showcased during 2007.

Zach Jackson

The left-hander hasn’t done much to impress in Columbus, especially as of late. He has given up 29 earned runs and 39 hits in his last six starts (33 innings).

Ken Ray

A right-hander, Ray has given up 37 earned runs during his last 10 starts (41.1) innings. For the season he is 2-4 with a 8.06 ERA.

Kirk Saarloos

Currently on the disabled list, the well-traveled veteran is 3-10 this season at Columbus with an ERA of 5.61.

Jeremy Sowers

Sowers was just sent down Thursday to work on his middle inning performances. Sowers has a knack for pitching well in the early goings of games before imploding around the fifth inning.


Jensen Lewis

Lewis is yet to allow a run in Columbus In four appearances (eight innings) he has struck out 12, walked three and allowed six hits. Yet Rafael Perez has been just as dominant this year in Columbus during his stints.

Rafael Perez

Perez has proved he can pitch at the Triple A level with nine innings of scoreless baseball this season, he just simply isn't getting it done with Cleveland.

Frank Hermann

This 6-foot-4, 220 pound Harvard grad was converted to the bullpen upon being called up to Columbus, from Akron, early in the season. The right-hander has appeared in 23 games this season with the Clippers and has a 3.35 ERA. His statistics show that he doesn’t overpower many (24 strikeouts in 40.1 innings), but he doesn’t walk many either (8). Over his last 10 games his ERA has dropped to 2.16.

Bullpen arms who are being stowed in Columbus and have already been given a chance to help:

Greg Aquino
Jack Cassel
Vinnie Chulk
Masa Kobayashi
Rich Rundles

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