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
- July 20-26: Michael Brantley
- July 27-August 3: Lonnie Chisenhall
It was another very difficult week to limit myself to four candidates, after the offense exploded for its best series in more than two years, and two different starting pitchers turned in gems. I'm leaving out a guy who came an out away from throwing a Maddux (though you can believe that if he'd pulled it off, I'd have found a way to include him here), so good were the four guys I am including.
I rarely include a position player who played in only two games, but there can't be many too players in Indians history who made a better impression during their first two games with the team. Saturday night Almonte had 4 hits, including a pair of doubles and a home run. Sunday he hit another home run, becoming the only Indians player this season to homer in back-to-back games (whoa), and also made a very nice catch in the 9th inning. His wRC+ for those two games was 469.
Brantley has been amazing of late. He won Player of the week in two of the three previous weeks, then went out and posted a .522/.560/.652 line in 25 plate appearances last week, good for a wRC+ of 242. He had multiple hits in five of the Tribe's six games, including 3 doubles. He scored 6 runs and drove in 5. He stole a base for good measure too. is numbers still aren't quite where they were last year, but they're really, really good.
Carrasco started Tuesday's game against the Angels. He gave up a single to very recent teammate David Murphy to lead off the 5th inning, but that was the only hit Carrasco would allow all night. He finished the game with 9 shutout innings, with just the one hit and one walk allowed (plus a hit batter), and 7 strikeouts. Notice I said "9 shutout innings," and not "a shutout." This is because the Indians didn't score in regulation either. Thus Carrasco did not get a win, which is another reminder that pitcher wins are nonsense.
Only a few days ago I was told it was clear Ramirez would never be any good. Last week, in a team-high 31 plate appearances, Ramirez hit .333/.484/.625, for a wRC+ of 209. He homered on Wednesday, but his big game was Saturday, when he singled, doubled, and tripled, with 3 run scored and 3 RBI, among six of each of those he had on the week. Not bad for a guy who's never going to be any good.
When I sat down to look at the numbers and put this post together, I thought I was going to go with Almonte, despite him playing in just the two games, because the two games were just so good. I chose the headline based on that assumption, and I choose the photo too. You can now consider those to be fake outs though, because while picking the same guy so often might not be as exciting, I think Doc Smooth had the best week again. He has a wRC+ of 204 since the All-Star break, which is remarkable. Anyway, apologies to Carrasco, and to Almonte and Ramirez, who each likely had the best stretch we're going to see from either of them the rest of the season, but their real beef shouldn't be with me, it should be with the Tribe's left fielder.