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
- 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
- May 25-31: Jason Kipnis
- June 1-7: Brandon Moss
- June 8-14: Shaun Marcum
- June 15-22: Jason Kipnis
- June 23-29: Roberto Perez
- June 30-July 5: Carlos Carrasco (my choice), Cody Anderson (reader vote)
- July 6-12: Carlos Santana
- July 13-19: Michael Brantley
After a relatively slow start to the season (perhaps due to injury), Brantley is hitting the way he did last year, with a .316/.389/.484 batting line during the last month that looks very similar to his 2014 line. Last week Brantley hit .348/.400/.609, good for a wRC+ of 185. He was the star of the Tribe's one victory, with 4 hits on Wednesday, including a home run. He also hit 3 doubles during the week, tying him (with Jason Kipnis) for the league lead with 29 of them on the year.
Lindor had his best offensive week since joining the Tribe, batting .348/.400/.522, for a wRC+ of 164. After an 0 for 4 night on Tuesday, Lindor reached safely in the next five games, with three multi-hit games along the way. He hit his 3rd home run of the season and scored 3 runs, which may not sound like a lot, but stands out in a week when the entire team scored only 13 of them.
Salazar pitched twice, not putting in a great performance either time, but doing reasonably well in both. Tuesday night in Milwaukee he gave up 3 runs in the first two innings, then settled in to get through the next four innings without any more damage, striking out 8 before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the 7th inning because National League. Back home on Sunday, Salazar again struck out 8, this time while allowing 2 runs in 6.2 innings of work.
Lindor wasn't the only rookie who hit well last week, as Monstro posted a .400/.400/.667 line, giving him a wRC+ of 200. He collected at least 1 hit in all five of the games he appeared in, with two doubles and a triple among his base knocks. After entering Sunday's game as a defensive replacement, Urshela led off the 9th inning with a triple, giving fans a brief hope the team might rally.
Salazar was good, but nowhere near great, perhaps the first time all season I've nominated someone worth only 0.1 fWAR, because that's the kind of week it was. Urshela drops out for me because while his slash line is the best of the three position players nominated, he put it up in only 15 plate appearances, compared to 25 apiece for Brantley and Lindor. I sort of expect Francisco to win the voting, because the two players are close and many will likely side with the rookie because it'd be fun to honor the rookie we waited do long for. For me though, the team's top play this week was the same as it was last week: Doc Smooth.
Congratulations again, Michael.