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Cleveland Indians as American League Player of the Week (a history)

Justin Masterson is the reigning AL Player of the Week. What other Indians have earned that honor?

Jason Miller

On Monday Justin Masterson was named American League Player of the Week, a well deserved honor after he pitched a complete game shutout against the Yankees on Monday and then tossed 7 more scoreless frames Sunday against the Mariners, with 11 strikeouts. Masterson is the Indians' second player award this title already this season, after Ryan Raburn won it just three weeks ago. There was some discussion in the comments about how long it had been since the Tribe had two winners in the same season. I took a quick look to find out, and then decided to go back and take another look at every AL Player of the Week the Indians have had since the award was started in 2003.

Indians' AL Player of the Week winners:

2003: Casey Blake (June 30-July 6)

2004: Jake Westbrook (April 19-25), Victor Martinez (May 10-16), Victor Martinez (July 12-18)

2005: Victor Martinez (August 22-28), Coco Crisp (September 5-11), Travis Hafner (September 19-25)

2006: Ben Broussard (April 24-30), Travis Hafner (July 31-August 6)

2007: Casey Blake (May 21-27), CC Sabathia (June 25-July 1), Fausto Carmona (September 10-16)

2008: CC Sabathia (June 9-15), Asdrubal Cabrera (September 8-14)

2009: No one

2010: Shin-Soo Choo (April 12-18), Shin-Soo Choo (September 13-19)

2011: Asdrubal Cabrera (April 4-10)

2012: No one

2013: Ryan Raburn (April 29-May 5), Justin Masterson (May 13-19)

That's 19 awards by 12 different players. Masterson is only the fourth pitcher to be named Player of the Week while working for the Indians, and the first in five years (meaning the other 7 winners were position players). Sabathia is the only pitcher to win the award with the Indians twice, but a handful of position players have also won it more than once.

Indians who won the award multiple times:

Victor Martinez: 3

Travis Hafner, Casey Blake, CC Sabathia, Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera: 2

Martinez and Choo are the only Indians to win the award more than once in the same season. Martinez holds the 'record' for shortest gap between two awards, going just two months between honors back in May and July of 2004. Casey Blake, on the other hand, had nearly four full years pass between his two wins.

Finally, my choices for the best of those 19 weeks...

Best Player of the Week weeks by an Indian:


5) CC Sabathia (June 25-July 1, 2007) - 2 stars, 16 IP, 2.25 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 16 K (a complete game with 8 K against Oakland, then 7 strong innings against the Rays with another 8 K, no walks in either game)

4) Jake Westbrook (April 19-25, 2004) - 2 starts, 16 IP, 1.13 ERA, 0.31 WHIP, 10 K (came on in relief with the Tribe down 4-0 and pitched 7 perfect innings, then threw a complete game against the Tigers)

3) CC Sabathia (June 9-16, 2008) - 2 starts, 17 innings, 1.59 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 15 K (a complete game shutout against the Twins, then 10 strikeouts in 8 innings against the Padres)

2) Fausto Carmona (September 10-16, 2007) - 2 starts, 15 IP, 0.60 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 12 K (got the best of the White Sox, then shut out the Royals for 8 innings, with 9 strikeouts and only 3 hits allowed)

1) Justin Masterson (May 13-19, 2013) - 2 starts, 16 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 20 K (a complete game shutout against the Yankees, then held the Mariners scoreless for 7 innings while striking out 11)

Between the zero runs and 20 strikeouts, I don't think there's any real case that Masterson's week doesn't belong in the #1 spot.


5) Ryan Raburn (April 29-May 5, 2013) - 22 PA, .591/.591/1.182, 1.773 OPS, 13 H, 4 HR, 5 R, 9 RBI (he had multiple hits four times, including two 4-hit games, he also hit a pair of homers in two different games)

4) Shin-Soo Choo (September 13-19, 2010) - 26 PA, .500/.615/1.150, 1.765 OPS, 10 H, 4 HR, 7 R, 11 RBI (his week was highlighted by a 3 HR game against the Royals, in which he drove in 7 runs)

3) Shin-Soo Choo (April 12-18, 2010) - 25 PA, .579/.680/.1.211, 1.891 OPS, 11 H, 3 HR, 5 R, 11 RBI (in 25 trips to the plate he made only 8 outs, reaching base at least three times in four different games)

2) Ben Broussard (April 24-30, 2006) - 17 PA, .625/.647/.1.438, 2.085 OPS, 10 H, 4 HR, 6 R, 13 RBI (the highest batting average and slugging percentage of any of these weeks)

1) Travis Hafner (September 19-25, 2005) - 34 PA, .385/.529/.1.192, 1.722 OPS, 10 H, 6 HR, 9 R, 16 RBI (the first five games from this week were part of a 6-game HR streak, the second-longest in franchise history)

Hafner's rate stats aren't quite as high, but he put his rates up over far more PA and I think that his awesome power display merits the #1 spot.

It's been six years since the Indians last had three Player of the Week winners in the same season. It'd be pretty cool if this year's squad could match that accomplishment, or better yet, surpass it.