Since using a rolled up magazine as a swing aid on Saturday, Jason Kipnis, second baseman for the Cleveland Indians, has gone 9-15 at the plate, including a three-run homer in Cleveland’s win against Minnesota on Thursday.
Jason Kipnis had another bad day at the plate Saturday in Kansas City.
The Cleveland Indians second baseman went 0-for-3 that day, his third straight hitless game, dropping his batting average for the season to .216.
Kipnis knew he needed to make a change and found help from an unlikely source: a rolled up magazine.
Kipnis went back to the team hotel after the game and put on tape of his swing from 2016, when he hit .275. Picking up the magazine and forming it into a bat, he practiced repeating his old swing with it.
By the look of his results, it seems to have worked. The next day Kipnis went 4-for-5 with a home run against the Royals. On Thursday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins, he hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to led the Indians to a 5-3 win.
Since picking up that magazine, Kipnis is 9-for-15 with two home runs and has raised his batting average to .229.
Kipnis felt that his recent struggles are the result of some bad habits that crept into his swing. By going back to what he used to do well, he feels like he has found his groove once again.
“I kind of watched a lot of 2016 and just where my hands were and tried to get that feeling back,” he said on Sunday. “I was in my bedroom with a magazine rolled up as a bat like Roger Maris in ’61 or something like that. But, I was excited coming in today because I thought I found something.”
“So, I came in with better spirits and saying this was a new day and let’s see how it goes from here on out. To have it start off like this, it’s reassuring, it’s fun, it gives me a little bit of a breath of fresh air. I’m excited for where it goes from here.”
Cleveland (76-57) won for the third time in their past four games on Thursday and now hold a 14 game lead in the AL Central. Kipnis hopes this is just the start of a hot streak that will carry all the way to October.
“There haven’t been too many highs, but right now we’re getting into a nice little groove,” he told MLB Network on Thursday. “I’ve had some good games before and taken a step backwards after. So, hopefully, I’m just trying to ride this wave as long as I can.”
If Kipnis continues on like this, the rest of his teammates might think about picking up a few magazine subscriptions themselves.