It had been four years since Ian Kinsler hit as many as 20 homers in a season, but he took full advantage of the power market in 2016, jacking 28 balls out of the yard. While 15 second basemen hit 20-plus homers last season, Kinsler was one of just six who added double-digit steals, and one of just three who hit 25-plus homers with 10-plus steals. He also scored 117 runs by getting on base 34.8 percent of the time and running the bases effectively. The last time Kinsler hit this many home runs, his HR/FB was 12.5 percent. It was also that same percentage in 2016 but those bookended five seasons of six-to-seven percent figures. He does not run as well as he once did, but he has posted double-digit steals in every season of his career and has been double-double in steals and home runs each of the past six seasons. As long as he is hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera he can fall into 85 runs, but don't bank on him hitting 20 homers again.
Kinsler is expected to rejoin Tigers camp Friday and play in a spring training game Sunday, Scott DeCamp of MLive.com reports. Kinsler played a pivotal role in Team USA's World Baseball Classic championship, hitting a two-run home run in the title game against Puerto Rico. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Kinsler will get in a few workout days before returning to Detroit's lineup Sunday.
Kinsler went 2-for-5 and scored a run in Team USA's 3-2 win over Colombia on Friday in the World Baseball Classic. Team USA only had six hits, as Jose Quintana was in control for Colombia. Kinsler led off for the U.S., and he figures to top Detroit's lineup this season as well, making him a solid candidate to score at least 100 runs. He scored 117 runs last season, his most since 2011.
Kinsler went 3-for-4 with a walk and run in Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Royals. The leadoff man did a solid job of setting the table Saturday, getting on base four times and posting his second consecutive multi-hit effort. Kinsler is closing out the season in strong fashion, now hitting .344 (21-for-61) in September with six multi-hit outings overall.
Kinsler (concussion) is leading off and manning second base Friday against the Royals. He cleared the concussion protocol prior to Thursday's doubleheader, but needed to remain symptom-free for 24 hours, which he apparently achieved. Kinsler has re-established himself as one of the top fantasy options at the keystone this season. He is one of two second basemen (Brian Dozier being the other) with over 25 homers, over 100 runs and double-digit steals on the season.
While Kinsler said he is free of concussion symptoms Thursday morning, he needs to remain symptom-free for 24 hours, so he will not be able to play in either game of the doubleheader against the Twins, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports. Kinsler ran, played catch, fielded grounders and felt fine Thursday, but the concussion protocol dictates he needs to be symptom-free for 24 hours, so he will be unavailable for the doubleheader. It sounds like he is poised to return Friday against the Royals, however.