As the season moves deeper into June and we pass the 60 game mark, most of us have established an eye chart (subliminal or otherwise) and gut feel for the Indians lineup and what to expect (reasonably or otherwise) during game situations.

Question: how do these perceptions comport with reality?

Team Stats

— .249 avg.                        9th
— Runs scored                     8th
— Home Runs                                  12th*
— Walks                               1st
— OBP                                  3rd
— SLG                                              13th*
— OPS                                              12th*

— RISP                                 6th

— Wins                                 7th

Perception:    The Tribe lurks only 1.5 games behind the White Sox, is 5-1 against Detroit and took 2 of 3 from the World Champion Cardinals. So far so good.

Reality: The league’s best walk rate boosts OBP and the top half RISP (.262) is a pleasant surprise. However, dismal power numbers and mediocre batting and runs scored figures suggest that without improvement the future/real water level for this team is perilous.

Top of the Order


— .271 3 HR 18 RBI
— batting .306 since moving to the leadoff spot

— average and power numbers are down and mirror last year’s decline
— hitting .304 in June but with 1 RBI, 0 walks and 10 Ks.

Perception:    Has stabilized the leadoff spot. If the power reappears he may become a dynamic threat at the top of the order.

Reality:    Has stabilized the leadoff spot. A much more consistent hitter when he uses both sides of the field and although his home run rate is down his 2Bs are up. Good move by Acta.


— .291 5 HR 25 RBI
— More walks than strikeouts (25/23)
— .354 with RISP

— power numbers are down (this time last year he was .302/12/42) — only .262/0/5 in June

Perception:    Clutch, consistent hitter who seems more mature and focused.

Reality:    Not likely he will repeat last season’s home run total but his RBI pace could improve. He and Kipnis are the ones we want with the game on the line.


— .284 10 HRs 40 RBI
— .410 with RISP, .381 in the No. 3 hole
— strong reduction in strikeout rate from last season and early this year has improved his game

Perception:    Baseball player.

Reality:    Baseball player.


What do you see in the top of the order?


  • Swift says:

    Actually, I would say your analysis is spot on. And those three don’t bother me, as long as they continue as they have, even without the HRs.

    But just those three guys can’t carry the team. The trouble is 4 to 9 (or maybe 4 and 6 to 9, since Brantley is fine). And the gap is huge, you have 4 guys in the .270 to .300 range, everyone else in the .180 to .220 range. We don’t need guys like Kotchman to hit .300, but we do need a couple of them in the .250 to .270 range.

  • Will McIlroy says:

    Yes, the top three are fine and after today maybe Choo has found his power stroke. I’ll have follow up posts on the middle and lower portions.

    The batting average variance you noted illustrates part of the problem. This is a thin team with little margin for error.

    Thanks for the post.

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