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OC Register: Slumping Angels 2B Ian Kinsler plans to keep ‘plugging away’

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NEW YORK — Mike Scioscia’s optimistic outlook about Ian Kinsler is of little consolation to Kinsler.

Describing the slump the Angels’ second baseman has endured this year, Scioscia said some of the peripheral numbers — “the internals,” he called them — were more encouraging than his batting average.

“All the ‘numbers around the numbers,’ it’d be nice if those counted,” said Kinsler, whose average fell to .182 after he went hitless in two at-bats off the bench on Saturday. “The numbers outside the numbers don’t really help the team.”

Scioscia was referring to Kinsler’s plate discipline. Kinsler has swung at 20.5 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, which is his lowest percentage in the four years for which Statcast data exists. The major league average is 28.3 percent.

“My decision-making at the plate has been fine,” said Kinsler. “It’s just part of the game. You just keep playing hard and hopefully you get rewarded for those decisions.”

His other numbers don’t show a dramatic change in the frequency of hard contact, percentage of ground balls or percentage of pulled balls. Some of the numbers are slightly up or down, but nothing that would suggest a player whose OPS is 250 points below his career average.

“I’m just going to continue doing what I’ve been doing,” Kinsler said. “This is obviously a results-oriented business. You want to see results. I want to touch home plate. I want to drive guys in. I’m going to keep plugging away and hopefully I can get a chopper to get through a hole or a broken-bat single or something to fall in somewhere. I think I’ve been unlucky with hard contact and I also haven’t been getting any cheap hits. You need those too.”

Kinsler’s batting average on balls in play is .194, down from his career average of .284.

The 35-year-old said his body feels fine. There’s been no signs of any issues on defense or running the bases.

“Just keep plugging away and trying to make the adjustments,” he said. “I don’t know what that adjustment is, but if I stay with good strike zone discipline and stay swinging at good pitches, hopefully it changes.”

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2 hours ago, Glen said:

This is why I want Sosh gone at the end of the year. I'm tired of bitching about him. I want someone else to bitch about.

Every other manager would be putting Kinsler into the lineup when they have no other long term 2nd base option. Shuffling Valbuena or Marte to third and Cozart to 2nd isn't the answer. 

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