The Indians had a successful week, going 4-2 to boost their overall record to 9-7. Believe it or not, this is the first time they've been two games above .500 since the end of 2014. They lost two of three to Seattle during the week, with one loss by a single run, and the other in extra innings. Over the weekend they swept the Tigers in Detroit for the first time since 2008. Michael Brantley is expected back this evening. It'd be a great day to be an Indians fans... if not for Carlos Carrasco having suffered a hamstring injury Sunday.
A number of players did well for the Tribe last week, and after two weeks in which choosing a winner here was easy for me, I had a harder time this go round, and I expect the voting to be close.
Byrd played in only four of the team's six games, but he made them count, reaching base safely twice in each of those games and batting .385/.529/.615, for a wRC+ of 236. If you're into giving credit for the timing of a player's production, Byrd led the team with 0.37 WPA for the week. His home run Friday night put the Tribe ahead of the Tigers late in the game, and on Sunday he singled in a run in each of the team's two big innings.
In Tuesday's win over Seattle, Carrasco allowed only one run in 6.1 innings, though he did give up a home run and issue three walks. On Sunday, prior to suffering the injury, he pitched 2.2 shutout innings, with only one runner reaching base. Putting the two together, Carrasco pitched nine innings last week, with only one run on five hits and three walks.
I'm not convinced there should have been any concern about Kluber after his first three starts, but there certainly was. On Saturday he did a lot to put minds at ease by pitching a gem against Detroit. Kluber struck out ten in eight innings, all while allowing just one run on two hits, and walking no one. It's the best pitching performance the Indians have had so far this season.
Another week, another Player of the Week nomination for Lindor. This time all he did was hit .409/.519/.455, good for a wRC+ of 195. He reached base safely in all six games, and reached a total of 14 times, including five walks, which may not excite anyone but Carlos Santana and me, but I'm okay with that. Lindor scored five runs for the week, including two on Saturday and two more on Sunday. He made a couple of excellent defensive plays as well.
If Carrasco kept up the way he was pitching on Sunday, and went seven innings, he'd likely have my vote. I'm tempted to go with him anyway, both because his nine innings last week were very good, and because I fear not getting another opportunity to honor him anytime soon. That's not the way I'm going though, both because I think Kluber was the team's most impressive pitcher last week, and because I don't think any Indians pitcher was as impressive as Lindor was. Congratulations, Francisco!