The Cleveland Indians offense has seen a little bit of a slow start to the 2018 season. Bradley Zimmer is one of those starters that’s been struggling.
It’s hard to imagine the season starting off worse, statistically, for Bradley Zimmer. The Cleveland Indians starting centerfielder has been abysmal in the first few games of the season.
In his first four games, Zimmer has had 13 at-bats. Seven of them have ended in a strikeout. That’s over half of his at-bats that he isn’t even making contact! He’s only had two base hits, both of them singles.
His at-bats aren’t even looking competitive. Zimmer swings at a lot of breaking balls that don’t even end up anywhere close to the strike zone. He’s been fooled easily and just looks lost at the plate right now.
Now, it’s easy to argue that this is just a small sample size and a lot of players start slowly. The Cleveland Indians have several players known for slow starts, Edwin Encarnacion chief among them. But this is more than just a slow start, it’s a continuation from the struggles last season where Zimmer struck out too much.
He’s doing better than Jose Ramirez, right?
Ramirez has gotten off to a slow start as well, still searching for his first hit this season as of this writing. An 0-for-15 start to the season is obviously not ideal, but Ramirez is still making contact and looking like a big league hitter.
In his 15 trips to the plate so far, Ramirez has drawn two walks and has struck out a grand total of ZERO times. He’s making contact at least, because he is a quality big league hitter. Even though Ramirez has a .000 batting average, I would contend he is still playing better than Zimmer has so far.
How can Zimmer step up?
Swing only at strikes. He’s chased way too many pitches down in the dirt. This is obviously easier said than done, but he needs to pick up on breaking balls a lot earlier if he’s going to have a successful big league career.
We certainly expected a better start from Zimmer in our season preview, but there’s still plenty of games between now and the end of the season. Sooner or later, he’s going to turn this around and get into a groove at the plate. For his sake, and the sake of Cleveland Indians fans, it better be sooner. If it waits until later, Zimmer may not have a starting job to come back to.
The future is still bright for Zimmer and the season is just getting started. But he’s looked lost so far this season and needs to find his bearings.