Baseball is a very fickle sport when it comes to repetitions and consistency. If the even the smallest part of a players game is off, it’s very easy for that player to slide into a black hole of baseball misery. An injury early in the season can ruin any rhythm that a player had gained during Spring Training. This seems to the case with Jason Kipnis.
Kipnis has taken a step back from his 2013 All-Star campaign with the Indians. At the end of 2013 it looked like Kipnis was going to be a perennial All-Star for the Tribe. Welcome to Cleveland Jason, where dreams can slowly be crushed unless you really work really hard for them. It’s not like Kipnis is playing terribly, he just isn’t playing at an All-Star level. Hey, on the bright side compared to Swisher, Rayburn, Walters, and Santana, Kipnis is a superstar. There however, is the problem. With Kipnis playing below his career averages, other guys need to pick up the slack. That doesn’t seem to be the case this season, as multiple core players are struggling.
Kipnis is hitting .247 with 6HR and 37 RBI’s. Granted Kipnis was on the DL for a while, but he is still inconsistent at the plate. Entering this season Kipnis was expected to be big time contributor to the Tribe’s offense. His struggles along with Swisher and Santana’s subpar seasons are the main cause of the Indians lack of consistent offense. So far in August, Kipnis only has 1 RBI. This just isn’t going to get the job done. Now, I will admit he is collecting more hits in August, but I’m not pulling out the streamers and party horns just yet. Hits are great, but RBI’s are what win games.
I have written a few articles about the Indians this season, and my message is still the same; this season isn’t over yet and this team can still make the playoffs. Yes, you read that correctly, THIS TEAM CAN STILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!! The Indians have a fairly weak schedule to finish August and September. With a little bit of luck, a hot streak can spark up quickly. Offense is going to be the key and Michael Brantley cannot carry this team by himself. Kipnis is going to need to step up. I like that he is hitting the ball better in August, but he needs to be driving in runs with every chance he is given.
They say pitching and defense win championships, but always remember, “Chicks dig the long ball.”
Written By Rick Giavonette
Follow me on Twitter @CST_RickG