Indians

Second half Santana: Between Innings

The Cleveland Indians (Joe Smith) and Boston Red Sox (Addison Reed) both acquired bullpen arms on the Monday MLB trade deadline day. Both relievers had their first action on Tuesday night with Smith (2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 SO) easily out-performing Reed (1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 SO) thanks to Carlos Santana sending a the ball beyond where even Austin Jackson would be able to catch it.

The game itself was infuriating to watch. Brandon Guyer and Santana led the way to an early five run lead, only to see the Red Sox tie things up in one half inning against starter Carlos Carrasco, who would not last two innings. Edwin Encarnacion would push the Indians ahead, 7-5, with a home run, only to see Bryan Shaw continue to hang pitches over the heart of the plate as the Red Sox jumped ahead by two runs. Santana’s home run off Reed followed by a Francisco Lindor home run and some great at bats against Craig Kimbrel leading to a go-ahead wild pitch run gave the Indians a one run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

A last half frame inning where the Indians would record three outs as Cody Allen struck out Mitch Moreland. If only Yan Gomes realized he swung as Allen’s pitch went wide and Moreland sprinted to first base. At that point it felt obvious the Red Sox No. 9 hitter would hit a three-run home run to finish off the game, 12-10.

Let’s stop focusing on the negative though. The Indians did score 10 runs on Tuesday. Giovanny Urshela, Michael Brantley, Lindor, and Gomes each made some fine defensive plays.

Of course, none of them compared to the amazing, body-sacrificing, jumping over the bullpen wall catch that earned Austin Jackson a standing ovation from the Fenway Park crowd that had WFNY detailing the event in real time here.

Another continued trend in the game was the surging Santana bat. A 2-for-4 night with a double and a home run, three RBIs, and a run is becoming somewhat customary for the reborn slugger.

Second half Santana – Myth or Real?

The Indians biggest additions in the second half of the season could be players already on the roster. Having starter Danny Salazar return to the rotation healthy for the first time in a year adds a potential ace as good as any that were available on the market. The lineup will be adding Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall soon as they continue to rehabilitate from their injuries, but the biggest game-changer could be the emergence of Carlos Santana’s bat.

Santana did his best Jose Ramirez impression in July (does not include Tuesday, obviously) as he had 13 games reaching base two or more times (nine of them with two or more hits- so most of the time he was hitting not walking) with six of those instances reaching base at least three times. Santana had hits in 16 of the 21 games he started. He slashed .325/.413/.613 with five home runs, eight doubles, 14 RBIs, and 15 runs. The surge has led to many quick takes that Second Half Santana is in full force, which means it is time to dig up the numbers to see if it is a real thing.1

courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference

Before 2017, Santana has seen an increase in production during the second half of the season in five of seven years. One of the only two downturns was his rookie season, which featured both a small sample size and the first time Santana needed to adjust to MLB pitchers creating a book on his swing. The other season with falling offensive efficiency saw less than a six percent drop (more consistent than fluctuating). Another two seasons had positive movement but only in a marginal sense (three and six percent rises). There are three seasons left with a significant uptick in performance during the closing months (2012, 2014, 2016).

Excluding a partial rookie season, the proper way to state Santana’s historical seasonal variance is to state that he was equally likely to maintain a consistent value throughout a season as he was to see an increase in production without much risk of a significant drop off. The fact that the maintaining value happened in odd years and rising happened in even years is only truly valuable if you find yourself participating in a deep-dive Indians trivia contest.2

Another interesting tidbit of information is that he has never maintained the level of production he held in July of 2017 throughout an entire half of a season (though he was close in the second half of 2012). Expecting to see some regression from Santana from his crazy month should be expected (and is already seen somewhat as his post All-Star break numbers have some regression compared to his overall July).

Still, Santana improving upon his first half in drastic ways would not be out of the ordinary for what he has done in his career in both the second half and as a general note of where the value of his bat has been. Of the 13 non-rookie halves in the table, only two of them are below average (wRC+ and/or sOPS+ below 100) with one of them being the first half of this season. A regression to the norm is a good thing for Santana here.

The ruling here is that Second Half Santana is real, and fans should expect his bat to continue to be better than what he gave the Tribe in the early months. His bat just probably won’t be quite as hot as it was this July.

  1. Note: table does not include the series against the Red Sox. []
  2. Stated here just in case you do. If that happens, then please speak of WFNY well. []

  • Chris
  • mgbode

    Bolded the July batting average just for you, my friend.

  • Chris

    I’ll let you pour a glass of Kool-Aid, but I’m not quite ready to take a sip. If he can follow up July with – say – a .270 and maintain his normal walk numbers, I’ll need a refill.

  • RGB

    Ok, I’m going to make my first baseball comment outside of “Go Browns!”
    Allen seemed to be doing ok until that mook stepped out of the batters box in the middle of his wind-up.
    Isn’t there a rule against that?
    Go Browns!

  • Chris

    Infuriating? How about in the 7th where our 7-8-9 respond and load the bases for our top of the order with no outs? No runs.

  • mgbode

    So it was written…

    And, .500 so far in August.

  • mgbode

    He asked for time and the ump granted it to him just before Allen went into it. I agree it is dirty pool, but it is a trick that has been pulled since the rule was in place 100 years ago.

  • mgbode
  • RGB

    I think he was late…

  • Chris

    .500/.600/1.500

  • Chris

    Snark Off: Ump’s hand went up before Moreland’s did. I assume he was asking for it repeatedly.

    Snark On: Should have pitched anyway and beaned him.

  • mgbode
  • RGB

    Fine.

    Go Browns!

  • Chris

    Right, because they never pull those late time-out antics in football.

  • Natedawg86

    Allen needs to step off rubber there and recompose. He just stands there. Every time he did that the next pitch was either wild or a meatball.

  • mgbode

    I am amazed that doing so isn’t against the so-called unwritten rules that seem to guard against everything else. You cannot walk across the pitching mound, but you CAN call timeout just as you think the pitcher will start his motion.

  • Garry_Owen

    BASEBALL = BETTER THAT FOOTBALL!!!111!!11!111

  • Garry_Owen

    In an effort to conserve October momentum, the Indians have decided to let August momentum go.

  • mgbode
  • Chris

    Momentum peaked for this club with the signing of EE and the return of Brantley. If they’ve been saving up, it’s going to be one hell of a postseason

  • Steve

    Can we get another back end reliever on top of that second lefty? Allen, Miller, and Shaw all look kind of tired.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m starting to think that momentum peaked for this club on October 11, 1948.

  • Steve

    Did any of our crack reporters ask Francona why Guyer was left in to face a RHP there when clearly Zimmer was available, as he came in for Guyer later?

  • Steve

    Or why in the world Ramirez bunted in the first?

  • Steve

    Or why Shaw was left in to face the top of the order? Not that more Miller or Allen seemed like it would have worked, but Shaw has far more trust than he’s earned at the moment.

  • Steve

    I get there was a lot of exciting stuff to talk about between Jackson and Allen, but sometimes our leader seems like he couldn’t manage his way out of a wet paper bag, and he never gets criticized or called out for it.

  • mgbode

    We need a LOOGY just not sure how we find one worth grabbing through waivers.

    Shaw could sure use a 10 day DL trip to refresh.

  • mgbode

    The only reasoning would be his abject fear of Zim facing lefties as Abad was ready to come in. Not sure why that is worse than Guyer facing a RHP who isn’t going to hit him.

  • tsm

    But you never explained WHY he does better in the 2nd half. I demand and explanation!

  • mgbode

    Obviously so that he will peak in the postseason.

  • Chris

    Now that you mention it, I think I saw him roll an ankle out there.

  • Steve

    Agreed. Plus Zimmer’s baserunning/defense make him a better overall player to finish the game. But I would have accepted that he preferred Guyer-Boyer over Zimmer-Abad. My frustration is more over our reporters never putting Francona’s feet to the fire.

  • Steve

    I think we can find a useful LH arm in a trade. Another scrabble type.

  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    Especially now that Andrew Miller is on the DL w/ knee tendinitis.

  • Steve

    Beat me to it. Hopefully Shaw can get his two weeks of R&R in after this though.

  • mgbode

    Hoping that is all this is with Miller.

  • Steve

    Antonetti was just on a radio show and mentioned workload and volume, so it has me leaning that yes thats all it is.

    Interesting to see how we go forward without him. Aside from the big three, the pen has been used very sparingly. I’m interested in seeing Goody and McAllister handle higher leverage roles. I have some confidence in them, though I’m not really sure why.

  • JNeids

    Does anyone have video of Allen’s wild pitch? I can’t seem to find it…

  • mgbode

    Both have FIP better than Allen and Shaw in 2017.

  • mgbode

    Umm, no. It is gone. Forever.

    What I do have is the live shot as it was happening from my living room…

    http://i3.asn.im/Futurama-very-surprised-reaction-_td44.gif

  • Rachelrwoodruff

    Top29a

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !au309d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !au309d:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash599SportDoctor/Pay$97/Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!au309l..,….

  • jpftribe

    A pitch clock would be a welcome addition to MLB. The games pitchers play with timing are excruciating to watch.

  • jpftribe

    True story. I sent a very calm, well worded email to the Indians with my 18 ticket renewal telling them I thought hard about cancelling them after Ramirez bunted in the first. I explained this was not a rant or knee jerk reaction, but the frustration of seeing terrible in game decisions all year, many of which occurred in the 13 losses I attended.

    Not that I think some random dude’s email will alter game planning, but someone has to say something. The No 8 hitter in the MLB bunting with 2 men on in the first with no outs, giving a CY candidate free outs is just criminal.

  • jpftribe

    Goody, yes. McAllister, not so much.

  • mgbode

    Why hello Tyler Clippard.

  • mgbode

    Oh? Wait until you read about Z-Mac today…

  • jpftribe

    Expect it to be interesting, but the algos say he regresses too.

  • mgbode

    I didn’t go too in-depth in the article, but his peripherals are all doing well in 2017. His July was phenomenal.