Tony Sipp (RP - WAS)
After a five-year tenure with the Houston Astros, left-handed reliever Tony Sipp has found a new home with the Washington Nationals on a one-year $1,000,000 contract (with a mutual option for a second year).
He has only made six appearances thus far and it appears he will be used as a left specialist. He has retired more than one batter only once in those six appearances. He got shelled in two of those six appearances and with only a 4.0IP, his ERA is 13.50.
Sipp played for Clemson in 2004 as a JUCO transfer and was an outfielder who hit .280 with 20 stolen bases in 54 games. As a pitcher, he earned two wins and two saves with a 4.69 ERA in 22 pitching appearances.
Steven Duggar (RF - SF)
Duggar is an MLB leadoff hitter now! He earned a starting outfield role and the leadoff spot with the rebuilding San Francisco Giants. He is hitting .247 with three home runs over his first 77 ABs, but is heating up with a .321 average and two HR in his last 28 ABs.
Duggar has a bright future ahead of him and is Clemson’s strongest MLB position player right now.
Dominic Leone (RP - STL)
Leone has quietly become one of the games better set-up men. He currently has a 1.93 ERA over 9.1 IP. He has picked up 11 Ks in those 9.1 innings.
Courtesy of PitcherList.com, Leone’s go-to pitch is his cutter. Here’s how that looks.
It is a bit backwards, but his strikeout pitch is his 94 MPH fastball. (.gif source.)
Leone got banged up last year, which was especially unfortunate as he was in prime position to take a position as the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals. He ended up pitching only 24.0 innings to the tune of a 4.50 ERA. The year before he threw 70.1 innings to a 2.56 ERA. At 27, he is entering his prime and has an opportunity to put together some major production in the bullpen.
Leone is his final year before arbitration at $1.3 million. Should he put together a solid season, Leone could be in line for a major payoff.
Brad Miller (1B/2B - F/A)
Unfortunately, Brad Miller was designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians this week:
Miller has an especially interesting career arc. As a junior at Clemson, Miller hit .395 with a 14% K-rate over 195 ABs. He only hit five HR, as he was mostly an on-base guy. After moving through the Seattle Mariners’ farm system to reach Triple-A, he hit .356 with 6 HR and a 15% K-rate over 104 ABs. This led to a call-up to the Mariners.
In his first three seasons, he played SS for the Mariners. He had low K-rates, but his batting average in those seasons ranged from .221 to .265 without much power. Oddly, when he got moved to the Rays, he moved to 1B and found his power stroke. He became a 30 HR first baseman at 26 years old in 2016. His K-rate jumped to 25% though.
Since then, the power went away but the K-rate stayed as Miller had 9 HR with a 27% K-rate in 2017 and 7 HR with a 32% K-rate last year. He was performing well when the Indians released him (a player returned from injury and the team needed space for them), so it’ll be interesting to see if he can latch on to another team elsewhere.
*All stats as of games played on 4/18/19
Untamed: Clemson’s Dominant Path to the National Championship by The Greenville News
I was sent a copy of Untamed in exchange for an honest review, so here are my thoughts.
After reviewing Manie Robinson’s book “Top of the Hill” a while back, I was expecting something similar. When I received this, it was a much different task. It is an interesting blend between a book, a magazine, and a keepsake. It is thick and printed on heavy stock. What stands out immediately is the photography. The work done by Bart Boatwright and Ken Ruinard in combination with the high-end printing is the key selling point to me. I didn’t want to review it until I read the entire book (which I’ve done now). But even then, the photography continues to stand out.
Beyond the photography, the book is comprised as a collection of key articles that were written throughout the year. Many of these are game recaps. For folks like Quacking Tiger who, according to his interview on the Clemson Pawcast, is currently re-watching every single game from last season (hint: we won them all, remember?), this is perfect. They’re beautifully written.
I am personally not a fan of game recaps for contests I’ve poured through in excess (i.e., I watched the game, discussed it, read Alex Craft’s film review, etc.). What I really enjoyed from this book were the articles on players as opposed to the specific games themselves. There were articles that featured players like Chase Brice, Trevor Lawrence, and Travis Etienne. I especially enjoyed Marcel Louis Jacques article titled “What Defines Clemson’s QB? His faith and hometown.”
Overall, I would recommend this book for someone looking for a beautiful keepsake to acquired for a fraction the price when compared to other fancy hardcover books. It is printed on quality paper and will hold up for years as long as it is stored reasonably well. For someone looking for an interesting read, check out the aforementioned “Top of the Hill” by Manie Robinson or Larry Williams’ “The Danny Ford Years at Clemson: Romping and Stomping.”
For those interested, here’s the link to Untamed on Amazon.