Roger "Rocket" Clemens would have a proud father on Thursday night, as his son produced a few rockets of his own. For the first time in his professional baseball career, Kody Clemens hit three home runs in one game:
The three bombs were just part of a sensational evening for Clemens. He produced four hits, five RBI and four runs in six at-bats for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The team as a whole produced, with 23 hits in a 17-6 win versus Rochester. However, there's no doubting who the star of the game was.
Clemens was asked about his big night at the plate. As per Jalyn Smoot of MLB.com, he said:
"I don’t think I’ve ever done that before … not even in college. It felt awesome. I saw the ball well and had some good swings. It was a great night for sure."
The 27-year-old has been on a tear in general this month, with seven runs in nine games. In fact he's been performing well overall, since being optioned to Triple-A at the beginning of July.
In 32 games for Lehigh Valley, Clemens has hits 10 home runs and 30 RBI, while forcing 21 walks and stealing five bases. He has a .267/.378/.583 slash line and .961 OPS.
Trusting the process
The 2018 third round draft pick talked about his approach, which includes remaining disciplined. As per Smoot, he said:
"I’m just trying to have quality at-bats. That’s really my mindset right now. I’m just trying to put in the work, trust the process and not be so result-oriented."
It's clear Clemens' approach is working. In the process, he's making a compelling case to be recalled by the Phillies.
The Houston, Texas native spent most of the first three months of this season in the Majors with the Phillies. During this time, his offensive numbers showed solid improvement across the board from his rookie year in Detroit.
However, the Phillies still eventually decided Clemens would be better served going to Triple-A to work on certain facets of his game. This has proved to be the right move, but what are his chances of returning to Philadelphia?
The case for Clemens being recalled by the Phillies
There is certainly an argument to be made that the left-handed bat deserves another opportunity. Although there is the question of where he would fit in?
The Phillies' infield does have quality depth, although they are always just one injury away from creating a potential opening for Clemens. In this respect, there was a 'warning' when Bryce Harper was removed from Thursday's game with a mid-back spasm. (Harper was initially listed as day-to-day, with no further update at the time of writing.)
One positive which could help Clemens is his defensive versatility. During his Major League career, he has played at first, second and third base, as well as in left and right outfield.
A final factor to consider, is that Major League active rosters expand from 26 to 28 players on September 1. While this is only two extra players, it could make all the difference in helping Clemens be recalled by the Phillies.