Jeff Clement returned to play baseball in Iowa Wednesday for the first time since Clement led the Marshalltown Bobcats to the 2002 Class 4A state baseball championship. Clement finished as the all-time high school home run leader.
Clement is now in his second season as a professional and is playing for the Tacoma Rainiers, Seattle’s Class Triple A affiliate, in a four-game series with the Iowa Cubs. Clement says returning to his home state was something he’s been looking forward to. He says as soon as he got sent up to Triple-A six weeks ago, he looked at the calendar and was excited to see that the were coming to Iowa.
Clement began his professional career last season with a one-week stint playing for the Everett Washington Aqua Sox — then finished the year with the Midwest Affiliate Wisconsin Timberrattlers. Clement was invited to the spring camp with the Mariners before being assigned to the Texas League double-A affiliate San Antonio Missions.
A knee injury and surgery on his knee and arm idled him for five weeks. Clement says he’s working his way back with a schedule that doesn’t have him behind the plate every game. Clement says he goes two games as catcher and then two games off. He says he’s had some swelling in his knee, but his elbow has been good.
Clement went one-for-four last night as his team lost to the I-Cubs 7-3. Clement is hitting .238 so far in 33 games with Tacoma, including three home runs.