Following Saturday’s 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners, third baseman Jeff Keppinger’s batting average sunk to a dismal .048 after a 0-4 day at the plate. In fact, since his third-inning single on Monday, Keppinger is now hitless in his last 19 at-bats. Despite the rough stretch to start the season, it is not time to panic yet. It is important to remember that the season is only five games old and 21 at-bats is a very small sample size. If Keppinger went on this kind of slide in June when he was hitting .300, then it wouldn’t be as noticeable or seem to be a problem. Furthermore, let’s not forget that Keppinger is coming off of a torrid spring where he hit .412 in 51 at-bats. If you combine his spring and regular season stats together, Keppinger would be 22-for-72 and own a .306 average. That batting average is much closer to the .285 career hitter that Keppinger has been, and should indicate what type of hitter he will be moving forward. Since Keppinger is struggling, I would expect manager Robin Ventura to let him sit on the bench tomorrow. With an off-day on Monday, that would allow for Keppinger to take a step back and get his mental approach back. The White Sox will begin a 10-day road trip on Tuesday, and I would be very surprised if Keppinger doesn’t break out of his slump when they return to U.S. Cellular Field in almost two weeks.

Baseball is a long season, so let’s try not to overreact to small sample sizes.

-Eric Tichelbaut

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