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Kipnis' recent struggles may be due to fatigue

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis did not record a hit in Kansas City earlier this week. For the second baseman, it was a frustrating series that fit right into a frustrating second half, at least as far as personal numbers are concerned.

After July 21, when Kipnis went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, he had a .303 batting average and .913 OPS. In 52 games since then, Kipnis is hitting .231 with a .628 OPS.

Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis did not record a hit in Kansas City earlier this week. For the second baseman, it was a frustrating series that fit right into a frustrating second half, at least as far as personal numbers are concerned.

After July 21, when Kipnis went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, he had a .303 batting average and .913 OPS. In 52 games since then, Kipnis is hitting .231 with a .628 OPS.

Full Game Coverage

The reason for Kipnis' struggles could simply be a matter of fatigue. After all, the first-time All-Star has played in all but 13 of Cleveland's games before Thursday.

"I think he might be a little bit tired," Tribe manager Terry Francona said Thursday. "He skipped BP yesterday with my blessing. He plays pretty hard, and he's pretty hard on himself. I think he just got a little worn out. He hit that ball to center field pretty good yesterday. He'll be fine."

In 139 games, Kipnis has a .276/.360/.448 slash line with 17 home runs, 78 RBIs and 28 stolen bases. Over 16 September games, he has a .218 average and .622 OPS, with just one homer and three RBIs.

On Thursday, the notion of Kipnis hitting a wall in the second half of last season was put to Francona.

The manager responded: "I think that wall's going to fall here pretty soon."

Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

 

Cleveland Indians, Jason Kipnis