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.
One of the team's best goes for his first win, while others try to add another victory to their collection...
Brantley finished up his stellar season by batting .389/.421/.500 in 19 plate appearances during the final week, good for a wRC+ of 167. His 7 hits gave him an even 200 for the season, which is a major accomplishment. The timing of his hits was such that he didn't drive in any runs, and he also scored only 1, but those things are largely out of his control.
Carrasco started two games last week. On Monday he gave up just 2 runs in 7.1 innings against Kansas City, striking out 9 while walking only 1. Then on Saturday he have up 2 runs (1 earned) in 7.2 innings against Tampa Bay, striking out 10 while walking 3 and allowing 4 singles. The Tribe lost both of those games, but we're smart enough not to hold that against Carrasco, right?
Kluber finished up maybe the best season by an Indians pitcher in my lifetime with another gem Friday night, when he struck out 11 while tossing 8 shutout innings against Tampa Bay. That performance should have wrapped up the AL Cy Young for him, but we're going to have to wait five long weeks to find out if he can overcome Felix Hernandez's name-recognition and ERA advantages.
Ramirez batted .364/.375/.591 in 24 plate appearances last week. He led the team with 8 hits, and with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI (which tells you something about the week he Tribe offense had). He also stole 2 bases and made some nice plays in the field. His best game of the week was Sunday's season finale, when he had his fifth (!) 3-hit game of the month.
Among the two hitters, I think Ramirez is the better choice. He posted slightly better numbers at the plate and posted them in a greater number of appearances. He also played strong defense. As with most weeks over the last couple months though, I think a pitcher deserves this honor. There's a good case for both guys, and it really comes down to how much credit Carrasco gets for having had two starts. Kluber's game was the best of the week, but Carrasco made two very good ones... It's a tough call, and some part of me wants to go with Kluber because he was so good all season long. This is Player of the Week though, and while it's not the Klubot's fault he only had one game, I think Carrasco deserves credit for having put in two strong outings.
Congratulations to Carlos Carrasco, whose incredible second half surprised me more than any half-season by an Indians player I can remember.