It's time for our weekly look at the Indians' top players of the last seven days, in which one man is chosen as better than the rest. Be sure to vote for you choice in the poll included at the bottom.
I've chosen four candidates, and all of them played well last week, but come on...
Gomes hit .370/.393/.593 last week. He was second or tied for second on the team in hits (10), runs (4), RBI (5) and home runs (1). Impressive stuff, but his OPS for the week was still nearly 1,000 points lower than Carlos'.
Kluber pitched only once last week, but oh what a game it was. He took a perfect game into the 7th inning, which is as far as I can remember any Tribe pitcher taking one this century, and if not for Ryan Raburn making a play many of us will have a hard time forgetting (see it here), Kluber probably would have pitched a 2-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts, a career best performance. Still though, he hit 6 fewer home runs than Carlos.
Salazar returned to the rotation after two months at Triple-A. It was unclear (and still is, I suppose) if the move was to be permanent or not, but Salazar certainly made a good case for himself. In his first game he lasted only 5 innings, but gave up just 1 run. Then on Sunday, with the team riding an ugly losing streak, he pitched 7 innings, giving up 3 runs but not walking anyone or allowing any home runs. I think he's earned the right to stay with the Indians now, but he reached base 21 fewer times than Carlos.
Santana had one of the best weeks you're going to find by any hitter on any team all season long. His batting line of ..556/.636/.1.333 looks like it contains some typos, and rates as a .791 wOBA and a wRC+ of 430. He had a total of 15 hits for the week, including at least 1 in all seven of the Tribe's games. He also drew 5 walks and 1 hit-by-pitch, giving him a staggering 21 times on base. He had 3 doubles and a whopping 6 home runs, including 5 over the weekend in Kansas City. Plus, he stole a base, just for yucks. With one week, Carlos raised his offense this season from a little above average to top 15 in the American League.
I know the voting won't be unanimous, in part because a few people will be (understandably) impressed with Kluber's one game, others will think having Salazar back is the most important thing (which may be true, but doesn't mean he was the best player), and others still just get their thrills by being contrarian. This week the question has a right answer though, and that answer is Carlos Santana. He wasn't just the Indians' best player last week, he was the best player in baseball, and with batting line of .314/.416/.651 in June, and a league-leading 8 home runs, he probably ought to win AL Player of the Month too.