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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | September 25, 2017

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A Tale of the Tape: Jason Kipnis and His All-Star Candidacy

By Christian Petrila

There’s no question that Jason Kipnis’s recent exclusion from both the All-Star Game roster and Final Vote candidates caused quite a stir among Indians fans.

The American League is only carrying two second basemen this year: Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees and Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers. Here is how Kipnis’s numbers compare with the two.

Kipnis: .272 batting average, 11 home runs, 47 RBI, 20 steals, .335 on-base percentage.

Cano: .313 batting average, 20 home runs, 47 RBI, one steal, .373 on-base percentage.

Kinsler: .276 batting average, nine home runs, 40 RBI, 15 steals, .335 on-base percentage.

Cano wins in a landslide in almost all categories. His batting average is eighth in theAL, and is tied for seventh in home runs. His on-base percentage is also tops among all second basemen in the AL. He is also on pace to shatter his career best in home runs and OPS. The point being, there may have been an all-out war declared if Cano wasn’t voted in as a starter.

The real debate lies between Kipnis and Kinsler. The numbers are incredibly similar. Kipnis holds slight advantages in three of the five categories listed above. He and Kinsler are tied when it comes to on-base percentage. Kinsler’s only advantage is a .04 percent lead in batting average.

The big reason for Kinsler’s selection would have to be his veteran status on a team that is among the best, if not the best, in baseball.

On June 24, whenPhiladelphia’s Cole Hamels said he cast a vote forWashington’s Bryce Harper,Texaswas 44-28 with a five game lead in the AL West.Cleveland, on the other hand, was 37-33 with only a half game lead in the AL Central. Kinsler’s numbers could have easily stood out more than Kipnis’ simply because Kinsler was surrounded by so much talent. That, and the fact that his reputation as a two-time All Star preceded him.

Kipnis has a valid case to at least be a Final Vote candidate, if not an All Star. However, it just wasn’t meant to be this year. Remember this for next year, Kipnises: You can vote up to 25 times per day.

Photo: Getty Images