Cleveland Indians: Jason Kipnis getting hot at the right time

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

2018 has not been a kind year to Jason Kipnis. But the Cleveland Indians second baseman is starting to see a turnaround from his tough start to the season.

We’ve talked ad nauseam about Jason Kipnis and his 2018 season. It seems like after his explosive start in spring training, the Cleveland Indians second baseman never found a rhythm. There had been fans calling for the team trading him, replacing him with prospects, or having Jose Ramirez moved to second base.

Jason Kipnis looks like he’s heard enough of those hot takes. He’s finally raised his batting average above .200. That’s obviously a big step, but Kipnis knows he can’t stop there. He doesn’t need to worry about matching his teammates’ stats. Helping his team play better should be the first priority. He’s done a great job this month.

In the month of June, Kipnis is batting .274 and has hit four of his seven homers. He’s been even better in the last week. Kipnis has three RBI’s and four walks this week along with another home run. He even has a pretty impressive .368 batting average to boot.

Jason Kipnis was moved from his number two batting slot back on May 11th. He struggled mightily in the month of April, batting .160 with only seven RBI’s. May was a bit kinder to Kip but he still was batting .221 and slugging below .400.

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The turnaround

Kipnis was benched against the Twins a few weeks ago. That seemed to be the the turnaround moment. Since he was benched, Kipnis has been on-base in every game. Three of his four homers in the month have also come in that span.

If Kipnis is getting contact, the Cleveland Indians seem to thrive. The Indians have found themselves winning while Kipnis reaches his stride. It also solidifies the middle of the lineup.

He’s batting after Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso and occasionally Lonnie Chisenhall. They’re all hitting their stride towards the end of this month as well.

Needless to say the hot takes have cooled off since Kipnis has found his rhythm. This gives the Indians one less thing to worry about as the trade deadline approaches. Kipnis plays excellent defense and if he has a hot bat to match with it, he is no longer a liability.

Next: Checking in on the rest of the AL central

It’ll be interesting to see if Kipnis can stay on this path. Players getting hot is nothing new, but hopefully this streak will keep Kip from regressing to his struggles from early on as the season progresses.