Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Indians win a feel-good Home Opener, and a look at Edwin Encarnacion's past Aprils

In a true feel-good ending on Opening Day in Cleveland, Michael Brantley--who had to painfully watch the 2016 pennant run by his teammates--doubled in Francisco Lindor to win on the Home Opener 2-1 over the White Sox. As thrilling as it was for the play itself, seeing Brantley get the hit was just amazing as well, for his teammates even more than Michael himself, I bet.

Photo courtesy PD/Chuck Crow
The Indians' offense promises to be dangerous from top to bottom, and Brantley is hopefully going to be a huge part of that.

The other, even bigger addition to the Indians' lineup, unfortunately, had an extremely rough day at the plate. Edwin Encarnacion grounded into not one, but two bases loaded double plays in the sixth and eighth inning when a base hit--or more--could have been the game winner. It's not every day when your two strikeouts are the most productive at bats of the day, that's for sure.

Encarnacion has not come out of the gate strong so far--opening day bomb aside. But that's not particularly unusual, or the least bit alarming. As of today, he has a negative WAR, and is batting .185 with a .600 OPS, and only the single (but majestic) home run and RBI to his name.

The good news, of course, is that this slump could be any 7 game stretch. It just happens that it's the first week of the season. And on top of that, his career monthly stats suggest that he's a bit of a slow starter. His OPS in March and April is .757 for his career, the lowest of any month, and nearly 11% lower than his career OPS.

As the weather warms, I'm sure Edwin's bat will too, and that will be something to behold.