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Corey Kluber is back to being the best pitcher in the American League

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Anyone else experiencing deja vu?

David Banks/Getty Images


Each week I select someone as the Cleveland Indians' top player of the previous week. Then, because this is a dictatorship, but not a totalitarian one, I let you all have your say as well. Some weeks it's a no-brainer, while other weeks there are multiple guys with a strong case. (Occasionally there are weeks when no one has a strong case.)

Previous winners:

  • April 6-12: Carlos Santana (my choice, and by a single vote, winner of the voting)
  • April 20-26: Brandon Moss (my choice), Michael Brantley (reader vote)
  • May 4-10: Danny Salazar (my choice), Jason Kipnis (reader vote)
  • May 11-17: Corey Kluber (my choice, and by a single vote, winner of the voting)

Even the other candidates' mothers probably wouldn't vote for their son ahead of the obvious choice for this week's honor.


The Candidates

Mike Aviles

Aviles hit .438/.444/.688 in 19 plate appearances last week, good for a wRC+ of 211. Most of the damage he did came in Thursday night's win over the White Sox, when Aviles collected 4 hits, including his third home run of the season. During the week Aviles played mostly third base, but also appeared at shortstop and in left field.

Trevor Bauer

On Tuesday in Chicago, Bauer struck out 7 in 7.1 innings, while allowing only 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks. That was a very good game. On Sunday back home against Cincinnati, Trevor was a touch better, as he allowed only 1 run in 7.2 innings, while walking no one. His line for the week: A 1.20 ERA in 15 innings, with 11 strikeouts and 3 walks.

Jason Kipnis

This is four really good weeks in a row for Kipnis. He has a batting line of .415/.504/.679 during that time, and will receive strong consideration for AL Player of the Month when May ends. For just last week: .333/.419/.519, with 3 RBI from the leadoff spot, as well as 4 extra-base hits and 7 runs scored. He had 3 hits against the Reds Friday night, then 2 more on Saturday, when he scored the first run in a 2-1 victory, and drove in the second.

Corey Kluber

Kluber pitched another gem Monday night in Chicago, going 9 innings and missing a shutout primarily because Roberto Perez made a mental error on a wild pitch, allowing Kluber's only run to score. Kluber had 12 strikeouts in that one. He struck out "only" 7 on Saturday against Cincinnati, and lasted "only" 8 innings, again allowing just 1 run. For the two games combined: A 1.06 ERA in 17 innings, with 19 strikeouts and only 2 walks. He's on quite a roll.

The Verdict

While only his last two starts count for this, I would point out that Kluber has now made three starts in a row of 8+ innings and no more than 1 run or 1 walk. I pointed out on Twitter that only four pitchers in franchise history have ever had three consecutive starts like that: Kluber, Cliff Lee, Greg Swindell, and Stan Coveleski. That news item prompted this response:

Yes, Mr. Swindell, yes it is. Greg would have had my vote for Player of the Week when he did it, and Corey Kluber has my vote now.

Congratulations again, Klubot. You're the man machine!