Kipnis a one man wrecking crew in May
The Cleveland Indians place in the standings has improved nominally, but considering the start it’s somewhat promising.Corey Kluber
is pitching more like a reigningCy Young
winner, and the offense is starting to come through in the clutch. But when you look at the month of May, look no further thanJason Kipnis
The Indians’ second baseman had a month to remember as he collected 51 hits for the month. He also scored 30 runs. In the month of May, that’s only happened on two other occasions. Ty Cobb for the Tigers in 1921 (58 hits, 40 runs) and 1925 with Al Simmons for the Philadelphia A’s (57 hits, 32 runs). Anytime you find yourself in the company of the great Ty Cobb in a conversation, you’ve done something very right.
He failed to reach base in only four contests in the month in 29 games. Over that time, he slashed a line of .429/.511/.706 with an OPS of 1.217. He’s raised his season average to .340, good for fourth overall in all of baseball, and trailing only the red-hot Prince Fielder (.359) in the AL. Add to that his four home runs and 17 RBIs and it’s hard not to believe you’re looking at your AL Player of the Month.
Most Tribe fans were aware that he was better than his 2014 numbers, but this month has far exceeded any expectations fans had for the 2013 All-Star. One of the biggest trends for Kipnis during this stretch has been taking the ball the other way. He’s not showing the power to the left side yet, but he’s made an adjustment and been taking the ball the other way. That’s how you hit .429 for a month.
More from Away Back Gone
- Cleveland Guardians tantalizingly close to locking up AL Central tiebreakers
- Cleveland Guardians: Terry Francona becomes meme in profanity-laced ejection
- Say goodbye to defensive shifts and hello to bigger bases, pitch clock in 2023
- Cleveland Guardians: Shane Bieber second-fastest to 800 strikeouts in major-league history
- The next week will make or break the Cleveland Guardians’ season
A big part of the improvement is his health. The oblique injury clearly held him back, and Kipnis admitted as much early in the season. Other players that recently suffered the injury were Chris Davis, Ryan Braun and Joe Mauer. Davis and Braun had down years while Mauer still produced, but with less power.
As the Tribe continues to work their way back from the bottom, Kipnis will need to continue his stellar start at the plate to help spark an offense that at times becomes stagnant at the plate. The Indians also will need Michael Brantley healthy as his lingering back issues continue to plague him on occasion.