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WFNY Stats & Info: Indians offense struggling mightily with runners on base

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

Not all is completely lost for the season with the Cleveland Indians and their 31-35 record. Of course, with the team’s starting pitching, anything might be possible down the stretch of the final 96 games. But one key might just be better situational hitting.

For years, folks in the sabermetric community have railed against stats like runs batted in because they’re not that indicative of true offensive performance. Often, it’s just luck associated with at-bats with runners in scoring position, and small-sample success with runners in scoring position. Unfortunately, the Indians are on the complete opposite side of that coin right now.

MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian tweeted out these incredible stats on Friday night:

To be even more specific, that minus .065 OPS drop-off with bases empty and runners on base would rank as the second-worst since 1990. It’s pretty bad.

men on empty_mlb_1

Here are the specific Indians players, entering Friday, as sorted by the worst individual offenders:

men on empty_mlb_3

When eight of the team’s 13 regulars have an OPS 160 points worse with runners on base … that might be a problem when trying to score more runs. Michael Brantley continues to shine in this stat, while Jose Ramirez has since been demoted to the minors. And Jason Kipnis and Ryan Raburn are very close to evenly split after that.

The statistical side of me wants to say the Indians are due for regression to the mean with situational hitting. There’s no way they can continue to be as flip-sided as they’ve been in June. But the pessimist in me is always curious. What is it that makes Brantley such a clutch hitter? Is it possible the rest of the team has a trait for the opposite? This will certainly be one fascinating thing to watch over the coming weeks and months.

  • JM85

    Yikes

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Glad the stats back up what I’ve been seeing. Good thing they traded for Moss huh?

  • larry

    By ALL means let’s keep Santana in the clean up position. Didn’t Francona do this one other time and kept him there for quite a while? Then he followed him up with Mark Reynolds (Moss) again for quite some time. What we see here is “a swing and a Moss — strike 3”). Fans need to realize that Francona’s career managerial record is 1233/1093 for .530. We have an AVERAGE manager even with the 2 time world series team in Boston. Stevie Wonder could have made that line up. He DID prove what a “swell” guy he was by providing beer between innings. He’s NOT a motivator and certainly does not hold his players accountable for non performance issues. Tito is currently working on a hand book of excuses. Every press person will receive their own for reference purposes. At game end he will come to the microphone, take the “crap” out of his mouth and say : 2,14, 20,and 22 — Thank You and good night. P.S. “I’m bringing Zac Walters back up because I have a crush on him”

  • Hopwin

    Lonnie got demoted too and Swisher is “on the DL”. But that still hasn’t translated into more runs on a very very very small sample size. Still think we need to fire our hitting coach, Joran Van Der Sloot or whatever.

  • Hopwin

    BTW: I find it hilarious that these numbers indicate that for an opposing pitcher it is pretty much always better for them to let the lead-off guy get on base.

  • Tookents86

    < ✜✱✪✪✲✜.+ waitingfornextyear+ ********* ….. < Now Go R­e­­a­d M­o­r­e

    7

  • Hopwin

    I just realized the ideal strategy would be to walk on our lead-off, then balk him over to 2nd. We’d never score again!

  • mgbode

    Edwin Jackson attempted it just last week, but Kipnis did score from 2nd.

  • Hopwin

    Statistical abberation