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.)
- April 6-12: Carlos Santana (my choice, and by a single vote, winner of the voting)
- April 13-19: Corey Kluber (my choice and reader vote)
- April 20-26: Brandon Moss (my choice), Michael Brantley (reader vote)
- April 27-May 3: Jason Kipnis (with 91% of the 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)
- May 18-24: Corey Kluber (with 72% of the vote)
- May 25-31: Jason Kipnis (with 81% of the vote)
Kipnis has been a nominee for six weeks in a row now. This was maybe the worst week he's had during that time, yet he's still got a strong case for deserving to win again. He hit .318/.444/.409 in 27 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 154. He led the team with 4 runs scored, and also stole 3 bases. Kipnis reached safely 4 time in Saturday's win over Baltimore, and scored the winning run. Then he had 3 hits, including 2 doubles in Sunday's loss.
Kluber wasn't his best in his only game last week, and whether you think he even deserves to have been nominated depends in larger part on what you think of FIP. He pitched 8 innings against Kansas City, allowing 4 runs. He struck out 9 while walking only 1 though, and he kept the ball in the park. Usually on a night like that, a pitcher wouldn't get tagged for four runs.
Moss his .286/.400/.667 in 25 plate appearances, for a wRC+ of 200. He led the team with 5 RBI, and hit the only two home runs the team had all week. (He now had a team-leading 10 HR for the year.) His top game was Monday's win over Kansas City, when he had 3 hits, including a game-tying home run.
Salazar was on the mound for Saturday's win over the Orioles, lasting 7 innings while allowing only 1 run. He recorded 10 strikeouts while walking one and allowing a home run. Not as efficient as Kluber with his pitches, he couldn't work as deep into the game, but 7 innings is nothing to complain about.
I think Salazar's game was the top pitching, even if he did allow that long ball. For me though, this comes down to the two position players. Kipnis' strong base running and defense closes the gap Moss had through hitting, but not all the way in my mind. For the second time this season, I choose Moss.