Where We At? May 2012

The results are in. Here is how your Tribe players fared in the month of May. The order is based on the entire seasons performance while the stats and rating are just based on May. Here are April’s rankings to compare (the difference is noted in parenthesis).

 1. Jason Kipnis Above (+2)

5 Home runs: After going homerless in April, Jason Kipnis found his power stroke (and his running shoes) in May. He lead the team for the month in both home runs and steals and is also leading in leadership. This is the new face of the franchise. We are all Kipnisses.

2. Asdrubal Cabrera Above (+6)

14 RBI: With injuries to Hannahan, Santana and Hafner, Cabrera has found himself in a middle of the lineup role that he is taking well too. Cabrera lead the team in slugging for the month of May and was second in walks as well as he shows himself to be a well rounded player.

3. Derek Lowe Even (-1)

8 Walks: Lowe has been extremely frugal in allowing walks, but his 40 hits allowed have kept his WHIP higher than he would like. He saw a little drop back in May from his hot start, but is still performing at a better level than expected.

4. Jeanmar Gomez Even (+1)

3 Losses: It seems unfair that Gomez and Jimenez should have the same amount of losses. He has easily been the second best pitcher on the team to this point in the year although he, like Lowe, has seen a step back since April. He has the opposite problem of Lowe in that he doesn’t allow many hits, but walked 15 during May.

5. Michael Brantley Above (+6)

7 Steals: Brantley is tied with Kipnis for most steals on the team. Most impressively, after starting off even in April (2 SB, 2 CS) he has since only been caught 2 more times. I said last month that Brantley was improving at the end of the month and he was, in every facet of his game.

6. Justin Masterson Even (+1)

30 K’s: The Indians ace continues to lead the team in strikeouts as he shows at least some spark of improvement. Masterson definitely was better in May than in April, but still has work to do to become the dominant pitcher he was in 2011.

7. Chris Perez Above (+7)

100% Saves Converted: Perez certainly brought the Rage in May as he earned every Indians save but 2 and never blew an opportunity. He currently leads all of baseball in saves and fist pumps. What more could you ask from a closer?

8. Shin-Soo Choo Even (+7)

18 Runs: As Cabrera is learning to be a middle of the lineup hitter, Choo has been learning to lead off and taken very quickly to his new role. He was second on the team in runs for the month and has started stealing bases again (5 SB, 0 CS in May).

9. Vinnie Pestano Above (+1)

8 Holds: Pestano had an ERA of 2.25 and 9 decisions (1 win, 8 holds) in 13 games played in May. Pestano is basically dominating the entire league, just about every other day.

10. Casey Kotchman Even (+10)

6 Doubles: Kothman’s rise has more to do with the large list of players no longer on the roster than his own improvements, but he has improved. He has hit this month the way he was expected to before he joined the Tribe. A lot of singles, a few doubles and one or two home runs. If he can play the rest of the season like he has this month, there is going to be a place on the roster for him.

11. Jose Lopez Above (+12)

.410 SLG: Jose Lopez has to have been the biggest surprise on this team. The Indians looked to be in trouble when Hannahan was hurt the same time Chisenhall was on the MiLB DL, but Lopez has filled in admirably. In limited action (17 games) Lopez had 12 RBI and 5 doubles and didn’t play too bad defensively either.

12. Nick Hagadone Above (+10)

2.25 ERA: With Rafael Perez being placed on the 60 Day DL Hagadone is here for the long haul and that’s not a bad thing. So far this year he has a .077 batting average allowed against lefties. This is one prospect that doesn’t need anymore seasoning.

13. Josh Tomlin Even (-4)

3 Home Runs Allowed: Tomlin missed a couple starts this month with wrist problems, but in those he did make he showed the same results as last year. His .206 BAA and 1.09 WHIP show he doesn’t give up many hits, but when he does they leave the ballpark. His inflated ERA of 4.42 can attest to that as well.

14. Joe Smith Below (-2)

4 Wins: I’m not sure what happened to Smith this month. He pitched in more games than any other reliever and did pick up 4 wins, but he also allowed 19 total hits and walks in less than 12 innings along with 7 earned runs. 

15. Ubaldo Jimenez Below (-2)

2.00 WHIP: How does a former Cy Young award winner get a WHIP over 2.00? By walking 28 batters in 32 innings. Ubaldo has lost all control over his fastball and has struggled just as badly this month as he did last.

16. Shelley Duncan Below (0)

.214 ISO: Isolated power is the difference between slugging percent and batting average. This year, that ISO puts Duncan among players like Mark Teixeira, Luke Scott and Mike Moustakas. The difference between Duncan and a possibly All-Star bid? None of those other hitters are batting .167.

17. Johnny Damon Below (New)

.261 OBP: An on base percent of .261 is really impressive when you’re batting just .171. If you didn’t think someone could be worse both offensively and defensively, then meet his replacement.

18. Jeremy Accardo Above (New)

9.72 K/9: Accardo has been nothing but great since joining the Tribe in the position he should have held all year. It is such a waste that the Indians allow contract situations to dictate how they make their team. 

19. Aaron Cunningham Below (-1)

.150 AVG: The lowest batting average (of players with more than 11 at bats) on a team full of low batting averages belongs to Cunningham. I know he doesn’t play every day, but neither did Mario Mendoza and he still managed a career average of .215.

20. Tony Sipp Below (-1)

.267 BAA: Sipp has vastly improved over April’s debacle and his batting average against is the best stat to show it. Although he still allowed more than 5 runs per 9 innings he is starting to get things under control.

21. Lonnie Chisenhall Even (New)

3 Games Played: The rash of injuries has forced the Indians the Indians to bring up a few young players, but Chisenhall is one they should have brought up anyway. He hit a home run in his first at bat and will look to increase his level of play in the coming months to earn a permanent job as the Indians starting third baseman.

22. Juan Diaz Even (New)

4 Hits: Diaz has been extremely impressive as a call up straight from AA. He was the only option at shortstop while Asdrubal Cabrera was injured and hasn’t looked like he is playing out of his level at all.

23. Luke Carlin Even (New)

100% SB%: Carlin stole a base during the last game of the month to give him a perfect stolen base percent. He also has a fantastic mohawk that helps protect him from getting a concussion when hit with a foul ball.

24. Scott Barnes Even (New)

1 IP: Scott has pitched an inning. It was a good inning. He walked two batters and struck out another, but didn’t allow any runs.

25. Lou Marson Below (-1)

4 Hits: Marson has the same amount of hits as Juan Diaz even though he has 10 more at bats. Juan Diaz was in AA two weeks ago. Marson should be in AA now. He does, however, currently lead the team with facial stitches with 3.



No longer with us (in no particular order):

Demoted or Released (April ranking in parenthesis):

Jason Donald Below (17)

Zach McAllister Even (DNP)

Jairo Asencio Above (25)

Dan Wheeler Below (21)


Carlos Santana Below (6)

Travis Hafner Below (1)

Jack Hannahan Below (4)


Those are my rankings and assessments. I dare you to tell me I’m wrong. @BRBBlog on Twitter.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB