One look at Jason Kipnis‘ stat line says this isn’t what Cleveland fans have come to expect from the Indians’ second baseman.
Kipnis is slashing .249/.328/.358, with just six home runs and 36 RBIs.
When compared to 2013, Kipnis is really struggling. A season ago, he slashed .284/.366/.452 while hitting 17 homers and driving in 84 runs.
So, what might be wrong with Kipnis–a player the Indians signed to a long-term contract before the season?
It might be injury, as Cleveland.com Terry Pluto speculated. The JK Kid went on the DL in April with an oblique injury, and he might not have fully recovered.
Kipnis’s fly balls are traveling, on average, 20 fewer feet than last season. The assumption could be made he’s not hitting the ball hard because he’s in some pain.
“The oblique can make it painful to swing a bat and also hurts mobility in the field. It’s like pulling muscles in the stomach or rib cage.”
Kipnis hits a fly ball 32.5 percent of the time. This number is right near where he was a session ago. His line drive percentage (22 percent) is about three percent less than it was in 2014 (24.7 percent).
After posing a 3.0 WAR in 2012, and a 4.4 WAR last season, Kipnis Wins Above Replacement stat has dropped to 0.8 this year.