Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis followed up a disappointing, injury wrecked 2014 season by hitting just .218 with a .551 OPS in April, leading Cleveland fans to wonder where the dynamic young player who made the All-Star team during a 2013 breakout season had gone.
And then Kipnis had an incredible May.
He hit .429 with 22 extra-base hits and 16 walks in 29 games, which was good for a .511 on-base percentage and .706 slugging percentage.
He scored 30 runs in 29 games, notched multiple hits in 16 of 29 games, racked up 81 total bases in 119 at-bats, got on base in 73 of 147 trips to the plate, and raised his OPS on the season from .551 on May 1 to .940 OPS on June 1.
Here’s a list of every player in baseball history with 50 or more hits and 30 or more runs scored in May:
Jason Kipnis 2015
Al Simmons 1925
Ty Cobb 1921
That’s it. That’s the entire list. Jason Kipnis and two Hall of Famers from the 1920s.
Things have gone very poorly for the Marlins so far, with one fired manager and a 20-31 record, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com says that “doesn’t mean the club is thinking about selling any time soon.”
Martin Prado in particular stands out as a potential trade piece because he’s a good but not great 31-year-old veteran whose versatility could make him a fit with a lot of contending teams.
However, according to Frisaro the Marlins don’t think dealing Prado makes sense because he’s under contract for next season and the Yankees are paying $3 million of his $11 million salary. Frisaro also writes:
Prado is a leader on this team. Dealing him would be a tremendous blow to the clubhouse, and a signal of retreat to a market that is tired of rebuilding. Giancarlo Stanton didn’t sign here long term to see the towel thrown in after two months.
It seems a little far-fetched that trading a 31-year-old one-time All-Star with a .678 OPS this season and a .764 OPS for his career would be a crushing blow in terms of whatever remaining fan morale the Marlins have and whatever clubhouse leadership Prado brings to the table hasn’t kept the team from being terrible so far. (And within the past 12 months the Diamondbacks and Yankees were both very willing to part with Prado).
Of course, trying to make sense of the Marlins’ logic has often been difficult over the past decade or so.
Whatever the case, teams looking to swoop in and pick up some of the Marlins’ veterans will probably have to wait a bit longer.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter just announced that the team expects rehabbing catcher Matt Wieters to return from Tommy John elbow surgery and rejoin the active roster next Friday, June 5.
Before that can happen Wieters has to avoid any setbacks on his minor-league rehab assignment at Double-A and Triple-A, which is no sure thing considering he just started seeing game action again and hasn’t played in the majors in nearly 13 months.
Wieters was off to a strong start last season before being shut down, but his offensive production has been somewhat disappointing overall with a lifetime .257 batting average and .743 OPS in 683 games. Still, as an impending free agent who just turned 29 years old the three-time All-Star catcher would be in line for a huge payday if he can show that he’s fully healthy.
Caleb Joseph has done a fine job filling in for Wieters as the Orioles’ primary catcher, hitting .261 with four homers and a .771 OPS in 38 games.