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Surprising Cleveland Indians stats from April

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Carlos Santana sees the fewest fastballs of any Cleveland hitter . . .

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Stats are incredible pieces of information. Some can inspire dramatic decisions, such as moving in a stadium's fences for one goggle-eyed man.

Alex Cole stole 40 bases in the last ten weeks of 1990, which prompted the Indians' front office to move the outfield fences back to take advantage of his speed. Oddly enough, his defense was considered by many to be poor.  During spring training the next year, Cole tripped and injured his shoulder. He and the Tribe struggled greatly in 1991, and he ended up being traded in 1992.

We honor his legend with "Alex Cole and the Fences" (a great potential band name), a series of random and somewhat surprising stats for the Tribe and their affiliates, and a look what what the proper reaction to them would be, in the world of Alex Cole.

Bruce Chen has a 1.08 ERA over 25 innings pitched

Some fans mocked the Tribe's signing of Chen, labeling him a "washed up never was" kinda guy. While he may not help in Cleveland much this year (due to a lack of opportunity or just him pitching lousy), he's still off to an impressive start in Columbus. Chen is getting plenty of help from a .156 BABIP, but also sports a shiny 17:1 K/BB rate.

Alex Cole Reaction: Bring him up for T.J. House now.

Reasonable LGT Guess: He regresses back to his FIP, but with potential to give a few decent MLB innings as a 5th starter or long reliever.  He'll also face the wrath of some negative fan comments, especially on cle.com ("Why Chen over Scherzer??  Dolan's are cheap!!!!")

Indians hitters rank 25th with a .264 BABIP

BABIP measures how often a ball put in play goes for a hit and is affected in part by luck.  This low ranking does not necessarily mean the Indians have been incredibly unlucky (they rank 18th in isolated power and line drive percentage), but does show some improvement is possible just by chance evening out.

Alex Cole Reaction: Order your playoff tickets now because our luck is about to change!

Reasonable LGT Guess: A few more hits fall in over the next few months and our BABIP gets closer to last year's .296 rate.

Carlos Santana - fastball view rate of 52%

This is the lowest on a team and far from the almost 66% that Mike Aviles sees (team average is roughly 60% fastballs).  It is, however, right in line with Santana's numbers from last year, as he saw 52.1% fastballs last year.

From this we can assume Santana hits fastballs well and teams want to avoid throwing him the old number 1.  His wFB/C (how well he hits fastballs per 100 pitches) is 4th best on the team this year, and he ranked similarly last year.  The advanced stats show he has struggled with sliders and cutters over the last few years with minimal improvement (his slider rate, however, is great so far this April).

Alex Cole Reaction: Sit on the off-speed stuff Carlos!

Reasonable LGT Guess: No change here, as Santana will continue to see plenty of non-fastballs.

The Lynchburg Hillcats have 17 net stolen bases

Led by Bradley Zimmer's perfect 9-9 (+9) on the base paths, the Hillcats are proving to be very efficient while stealing bases (net stolen bases = stolen bases - caught stealings). Luigi Rodriguez is at +4, while only Clint Frazier has a negative figure, because he's just 1 for 3 so far.

Alex Cole Reaction: "Imagine if I was on that team!"

Reasonable LGT Guess: The Hillcats keep piling up the steals, with Zimmer pushing towards a +35 NSB year.