I do not know what is up with me lately, but for some reason I absolutely love making lists. With Opening Day fast approaching us, it is time for yet another one. Below are five things that every Indians fan should know, but perhaps do not know, going into Thursday’s match-up with the BautistaJays. I mean Blue Jays.
1.) Justin Masterson, the Opening Day starter, throws a lot of sinkers.
How many sinkers might you ask? According to ESPN trumedia, in 2011 Justin Masterson threw 2,845 sinkers, by far the most in baseball. That equates to 82.8% of his total pitches in 2011. To put that into perspective, the pitcher who threw the second most sinkers in baseball last season threw more than 1,000 less. That pitcher? None other than Cleveland’s own, Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez.
2.) Ricky Romero gives up a lot of home runs
26 of them in 2011 in fact, which was tied for 10th most in baseball. 20 of the 26 longballs he allowed in 2011 were on what ESPN trumedia considers “hard pitches” of 90+ miles per hour. Indians hitters, jump on the fastball!
3.) Jose Bautista hits a lot of balls really hard.
This is probably obvious, but I really wanted to drive this point home. In 2011, JoeyBats’s well hit average (the number of well hit balls divided by total at-bats) was .292, good for 9th in baseball. Also, when you add in his 20.2% walk rate in ’11, which was best in baseball, you see that Jose hits the ball hard 29% of the time, and walks 20% of the time. Yikes.
4.) The Blue Jays 2-hitter, Kelly Johnson, whiffs quite a bit
Johnson struck out 26.2% of the time in 2011, among the top 5 in baseball. Although he is coming off an impressive spring, I am betting on Johnson striking out a couple of times during this Opening Day series.
5.) Carlos Santana will probably walk tomorrow
In 2011, Carlos saw 2,839 pitches and walked 97 times, good for 5th and 6th in baseball, respectively. His ability to utilize the entire strike zone and work the count is better than anyone in baseball. I am betting on Santana working at least 3 full counts this series. Anyone care to take the under?
Feel free to follow all things brenden on twitter @BrendenLowery