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Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Bourn led the Indians' offense last week. ...Wait, what?!

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A tough week for the Indians, but also a really tough week for choosing 4 nominees and 1 winner here.

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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)

For the first time since Corey Kluber in May, the same player won back-to-back weeks. Doc Smooth has been awesome lately.

Last week was sort of a strange one, because while the Indians put up a losing record, a number of guys had great weeks. This is by far the hardest time I've had all season choosing just four players to nominate. I suspect I could have nominated eight different players, and they all would have received multiple votes. I'm a slave to my format though, so you're only getting four.

The Candidates

Michael Bourn

Bourn has had a very bad season, but a very good second half so far. Last week he batted .375/.444/.458 in 27 plate appearances, with a wRC+ of 161. It was probably also his best week as a baserunner since the Indians acquired him before the 2013 season. He stole 4 bases, including 3 in Tuesday night's game. He reached base safely 12 times, including 4 hits in Wednesday's victory, and he drove in the winning run with a double Friday night.

Carlos Carrasco

Carrasco's Thursday night got off to a rocky start in Oakland, as he allowed a leadoff single and then a run-scoring double two batters later. It turns out though, that those would be the only hits he allowed all night. After a walk in the 4th inning, Carrasco retired the final 16 batters he faced, finishing the night with a complete game that included 7 strikeouts and 18 outs via ground balls or pop ups to an infielder. The outfielders could have just stayed in the dugout all night.

Lonnie Chisenhall

Chisenhall was called back up for the Oakland series. He went 0 for 3 Thursday night, but was the team's best player over the weekend. Friday night had 3 hits, including a double, and scored the game-winning run in the 9th after leading off the inning with a single. Saturday, he nailed a runner at the plate in his second game as a right fielder, and also slugged a home run. Sunday he singled and drew 2 walks, and scored the Tribe's only run. In his four games he hit .357/.438/.643, with a wRC+ of 204.

Danny Salazar

Salazar started Friday's game in Oakland. After a walk an a single in the 3rd inning, a Giovanny Urshela error allowed an unearned run. After that error, Salazar retired the next 18 batters he faced. Having thrown 111 pitches, Salazar exited the game after the 8th inning, with a line of just the unearned run on 1 hit and 1 walk in 8 innings.

The Verdict

Those nominees did not include Trevor Bauer, who pitched two good games; Corey Kluber, who retired the first 12 batters he faced, and allowed just 1 run while striking out 7 in a complete game; Michael Brantley, who had another good week, who hit .320/.433/.480, with a HR and 2 SB; or Jason Kipnis, who hit .400/.464/.480. Like I said, there were a ton of strong candidates.

It was also a very difficult week to single out a winner, and I doubt any of the four nominees will receive a majority of the votes. For me Carrasco's start was the top pitching performance of the week, and I'm tempted to leave it at that and go with him. I keep coming back to Linnie though, who not only had the best rate stats of anyone in the lineup, but looked good in right field. Perhaps I'm being swayed by the (small sample) redemption narrative, but he's my pick.

Congratulations, Lonnie!