The Cleveland Indians just suffered arguably their worst week of the season, losing five games in a week for only the third time all year, and allowing 10+ runs in four separate games, matching their total for the entire season prior to last week. Adding injury to insult, All-Star pitcher Danny Salazar landed on the DL with elbow inflammation. It was a bad week, despite the strong performances turned in by some of the players. Which player was best?
- 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
- June 20-26: Francisco Lindor (my pick), Lonnie Chisenhall (reader vote)
- June 27-July 3: Carlos Santana
- July 4-10: Jason Kipnis
- July 11-17: Mike Napoli
- July 18-24: Tyler Naquin
- July 25-31: Jose Ramirez (my pick), Tyler Naquin (reader vote)
Davis hit .294/.368/.529 in 19 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 143. He reached base multiple times on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and also scored at least one run in each of those games. His two hits on Saturday included his 10th home run of the season, the first time in his career he's reached double figures. He also stole three bases during the week, giving him an AL-best 28 on the year.
From Monday through Friday, five different starting pitchers did poorly for the Indians. Saturday, Kluber snapped that streak by pitching eight strong innings against the Yankees, allowing only two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Be more like Corey, rest of rotation!
Napoli hit .333/.438/.778 in 32 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 222. He hit safely in all seven games, with a total of nine hits and four walks during the week. Among those hits were four home runs, giving him a total of 28 for the season, the most by any Indians hitter since Grady Sizemore in 2008. Napoli led the team with 7 RBI and 7 runs scored.
Ramirez hit .414/.433/.586 in 30 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 180. He hit safely in all seven games, running his current hitting streak to 12 games. He also scored a run in six different games last week, had a team-high 12 hits in total, including two doubles and a home run, plus a stolen base. Notably, he was at third base in every game, marking the first week all season he hasn't split time between the infield and outfield.
I love that Kluber continued to pitch so well, especially on the heels of so many weak pitching performances, but I've got to go with the guy who's leading the American League in home runs since the All-Star break. Napoli has been killing the ball, and would have a shot at AL Player of the Week if his teammates hadn't let Joe Mauer and Max Kepler go bonkers.
Congratulations for the third time, Mike!