By Joe Cooper @joeRantSports on April 30, 2014
The Cleveland Indians’ offense that was expected to improve in 2014 has gotten off to an anemic start. The team should be concerned about the current offensive output as the Tribe have only scored 105 runs (-20 run differential) in 27 games. In 2013, the Wahoos had already amassed 120 runs in three fewer games to this date (+11). Here are the team's top five hitters through April.
There has been a lot of negativity surrounding Yan Gomes’ bat, including Matt Underwood stating last night the catcher was due for a big hit. Despite this, Gomes is playing close to his 2014 ZiPS projections factoring in a regression based on his .342 BABIP from last season. Coming off an eight-game hitting streak, the catcher has totaled .259/.299/.432 in 87 plate appearances.
The reigning 2013 All-Star selection has scuffled early on, posting .234/.354/.394. The 27-year-old has exchanged his strikeouts for a lower BABIP of .250, which is encouraging considering that he is hitting the leather squarely, but has failed to find open gaps.
A number of factors kept Lonnie Chisenhall from creeping up this list, even with the unprecedented run to begin his 2014 campaign. With only 47 at-bats, he has been a small bright spot for the Tribe’s feeble offense, earning .362/.412/.489.
Even when all else fails, Brantley will always remain consistent. The left fielder’s average has dipped to .255, but he leads the team in homers (four) and hits (25), averaging .310/.382/.517 in 29 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Luckily for the Tribe, Ryan Raburn’s regression has been offset by Murphy’s offensive outburst in April. Among qualified hitters, Murphy leads the Indians in BA, OBP, SLG, wOBA and wRC+. Having another left-handed bat in a lefty-dominant lineup is still a great scenario as the opposition in the NL central hosts righty-heavy rotations.
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