Santana’s rough year continues

It’s been a tough spring for Carlos Santana, who is barely above the Mendoza line at the season’s quarter-pole.

His .207 batting average ranks among the worst in recent history through 45 games, but is compounded by the fact that he continues to bat cleanup.

The only Indian the last 50 seasons with at least 125 plate appearance in the four-hole through 45 games to post an average lower than Santana was Andre Thornton (.183 in 1986).

Asdrubal’s big day

Asdrubal Cabrera went 5-5 with two home runs and five RBI on Sunday afternoon, just the 4th such game by an Indian in the baseball-reference era (since 1919) and the first by a shortstop. More than likely, he is the first shortstop in team history with such a stat line (technically it’s possible that it happened pre-1919, but highly unlikely given the lack of home runs, especially by middle infielders).

Cabrera is also the only player on that list to also steal a base in the same game.

Cabrera is also just the third Indians with five hits and two home runs from the No.2 slot in the batting order, joining Ellis Burks (June 19, 2001) and Bobby Avila (June 20, 1951).

But Cabrera’s numbers aren’t just historical by Indians standards. The only other shortstop in the baseball-reference era with at least 5 hits, 2 HR and 5 RBI was Roy McMillan of the Cincinnati Reds on April 20, 1960.

Cabrera also joins just six others – regardless of position – in the baseball-reference era with five hits, two home runs, five RBI and a stolen base.

Player Date Tm Opp Rslt H HR RBI SB Pos.
Asdrubal Cabrera 2011-05-22 CLE CIN W 12-4 5 2 5 1 SS
Danny Bautista 2004-04-22 ARI MIL W 11-9 5 2 5 1 RF
Mike Marshall 1984-04-22 LAD SDP W 15-7 5 2 6 1 LF
Willie Stargell 1968-05-22 PIT CHC W 13-6 5 3 7 1 LF
Bob Johnson 1937-08-29 (1) PHA CHW W 16-0 5 2 7 1 LF
Carl Reynolds 1930-07-02 (2) CHW NYY W 15-4 5 3 8 1 LF
Jimmie Foxx 1929-05-01 PHA BOS W 24-6 5 2 5 1 1B
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/23/2011.

Pronk on RBI tear

The reincarnation of Travis Hafner has driven in at least two runs in each of his last three games – the fourth such streak of his career and his first since since 2006.

Hafner is the 7th Tribesman in the past 50 years with at least four three-game multi-RBI streaks, but still well behind Manny Ramirez‘s record of 14.

Hafner’s six-game streak in 2005 is tied with Juan Gonzalez (2001) and Andre Thornton (1985) for the longest in team history.

Hafner, Brantley extend hit streaks

Michael Brantley and Travis Hafner each extended their hit streaks to seven games on Saturday night against the Mariners. They have each hit safety in every game in which they’ve played this season.

It’s the first time the Indians have had two players start a season with a seven-game hit streak since 2006 with Jhonny Peralta (9 games) and Victor Martinez (15).

Brantley’s streak is the longest by an Indians leadoff hitter since Milton Bradley started the 2003 season off with hits in 14 consecutive games.

The longest season-opening hit streak (since 1919) belongs to Johnny Temple, who hit safety in 19 straight games to being the 1961 season.

Opening Day notes

  • Carlos Santana was back in the lineup batting cleanup, a rare slot for a 24-year-old catcher. Since 1919 (as far back as baseball-reference game finder goes) only four other catchers have batted cleaning on opening day for the Tribe (Victor Martinez did so three times). And perhaps more noteworthy, Santana is the youngest catcher to bat cleanup in his team’s season opener since Hall of Famer Gary Carter in 1978.
  • Fausto Carmona‘s 10 earned runs allowed set a Tribe record for opening day (since 1919, of course). It’s also the most allowed by any pitcher in his team’s opener since Early Wynn, pitching for the Senators, allowed 10 to the Yankees in 1948. It was his final year in Washington before joining the Tribe. [Update: according to The Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN) Carmona was the first pitcher in baseball history to allow 10 runs in three innings or less on opening day.]
  • Jack Hannahan became just the 3rd Indians No. 9 hitter to go deep on opening day (since 1919) joining Ron Pruitt (1978 vs Royals) and Bob Lemon (1953 vs White Sox).

The Curse of Victor Martinez?

Only one player in baseball history has ever hit 50+ home runs with the Tribe, and then gone on to hit 50+ home runs with the Tigers.

That man, of course, was Rocky Colavito.

But after signing a 4-year $50M deal with the Tigers, it appears that Victor Martinez will soon join him.

Two other players have accomplished the feat in reverse – 50 HR in Detroit, followed by 50 in Cleveland: Vic Wertz and Travis Fryman.