We realize the season is just two weeks old, but one can't help but imagine what kind of start the Indians would be off to if they had managed any hitting at all to this point.
The casual observer may realize the Tribe offense has been poor, but just how poor is pretty unbelievable.
As a team, the Indians are dead last in baseball, hitting a pathetic, embarrassing .214 on the year.
I had to read that stat twice to make sure I wasn't looking at the wrong category. For all the stat-heads who claim batting average is meaningless, the team OPS also ranks 29th out of 30 teams at .641.
Let's take a look at some of the Tribe's worst offenders so far as I offer a few unsolicited comments:
Jhonny Peralta (.122, 1 HR, 4 RBI)
The embattled third baseman is the main target of fan scorn lately so I won't pile on.
I will say I was stunned to learn his .122 average was ranked 194th out of 197 qualifying major league hitters; not because he was that low, but because there are three hitters that are worse (I weep for Melky Cabrera, Carlos Lee, and Julio Borbon).
I will say I have more faith in Peralta pulling out of it than some other guys, mainly because he has hit in this league before and to the best of my knowledge, his vision is better than 20/20 now.
I think what irks most fans is Jhonny's penchant for presenting an image of someone who doesn't exactly give a flip. Not what you are looking for from a guy with five hits in 12 games.
Grady Sizemore (.209, 0 HR, 5 RBI)
Is he healthy or not? Grady is looking more like the guy from last year than previous seasons, even though we were assured he was 100 percent.
He has far more strikeouts (13) than hits (nine).
Sizemore's pitch selection is atrocious and he falls behind in the count nearly every at-bat. The change in hitting coaches has not had an impact on Grady yet.
Matt LaPorta (.216, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
Much like Sizemore, I'm not as much concerned about the woeful batting average with LaPorta as I am with the lack of power. Matt has been solid defensively at first, but are we even sure he can hit at this level? I have my concerns. He is, apparently, a clubhouse cut-up, so that's good.
Travis Hafner (.233, 2 HR, 4 RBI)
What do the Indians do with this guy?
He is owed a ton of money still and even his most ardent supporters (all four of them) now have to admit "H" will never return to 2006 form.
Even if the pitching continues to shine, the Tribe cannot be competitive getting so little from the DH. I wish a buyout was possible but we all know better, it is the Indians, after all.
I guess we are stuck watching Hafner lumber back to the dugout, shaking his head after another weak groundout for another few years.
Lou Marson (.080, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
I realize he is a part-time player, is keeping the position warm for Carlos Santana, and enjoys long walks on the beach, but goodness Sweet Lou, get a hit once in a while!
When Marson is in the lineup it feels like we are batting the pitcher. In fact, several National League pitchers have more hits than Marson. I knew Marson was in trouble the last game I went to when the outfielders actually sat down during his at-bat.
Luis Valbuena (.171, 2 HR, 6 RBI)
I will give Valbo a bit of a pass because he does a lot of other things well.
For instance, when the Indians are in the field and Hafner is relaxing comfortably on the bench with a MAD magazine, Valbuena flashes some nice leather.
I really love his potential and he is very young. I see Luis pulling out of this to become a very good big league second basemen, but with the pop he has, he might want to connect with the ball a few more times, because good things willl happen.
Amazingly, despite all these woeful statistics, the Indians are just a game under .500 on the young season.
Hitting is contagious, and if one or two of these guys join Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera and start hitting, the Indians will start producing runs. Until then, let's keep the team BA above the Mendoza Line, huh guys?
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