The Indians went 6-0 last week, extending their winning streak to nine games, and their lead in the American League Central to five games over Kansas City. The undefeated week was the result of both excellent starting pitching and really good hitting, as they outscored their opponents 41-13. This meant there were a lot of great performances, which made choosing just four candidates very difficult. You could pull four more players from last week and have a stronger group than some week's best four. I had to leave out someone who pitched a one-run complete game, someone who homered three times, and someone who led the team in RBI and had a .684 slugging percentage. Tough crowd.
- April 4-10: Mike Napoli
- April 11-17: Jason Kipnis
- April 18-24: Francisco Lindor
- April 25-May 1: Carlos Santana (my pick), Tyler Naquin (reader vote)
- May 2-8: Francisco Lindor
- May 9-15: Jason Kipnis
- May 16-22: Rajai Davis
- May 23-29: Jose Ramirez
- May 30-June 5: Tyler Naquin
- June 6-12: Trevor Bauer
- June 13-19: Rajai Davis
Carrasco pitched his best game of the season on Saturday against Detroit, giving him the third shutout of his career. He struck out seven while walking one and allowing only four hits. At one point he retired eleven straight batters, and no Tigers player made it farther than second base.
Chisenhall hit .450/.450/.850 in 20 plate appearances, with a wRC+ of 250. He had three multi-hit games, including Sunday, when he had four hits (the first time he had 4+ since his five-hit, three-HR game in 2014) and was a double shy of hitting for the cycle. He scored four runs during the week, and drove in six.
On Tuesday against Tampa Bay Kluber pitched his second shutout of the season, striking out nine while allowing two walks and three hits, all of them singles. He retired 13 batters in a row at one point, and no one made it father than first base against him until the ninth inning.
Lindor hit .348/.360/.783 in 25 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 195. He had three hits on Monday and again on Sunday. He also homered on Monday, and homered twice on Saturday. He scored seven runs during the week and drove in four. He also stole a base, and is now 12 for 15 on his attempts this season.
Kluber's shutout included a couple extra strikeouts and zero extra-base hits compared to the two Carrasco allowed, but Carrasco's shutout came against a better offense. It's very tough to pick between those two. I'm going to save myself the trouble by instead picking the team's MVP candidate. Lindor continues to post tremendous offensive numbers to go along with his excellent defense. He's my first three-time choice of the year. Congratulations, Francisco!