The Cleveland Indians swept the Royals before losing two of three to the White Sox in the final series of the season at Progressive Field. Their 4-2 mark for the week allowed them to lower their magic number for clinching the American League Central all the way down to one. One more victory, and they’re division champions for the first time since 2007.
Which players were the Tribe’s best for the week?
On Wednesday against Kansas City, Kluber allowed two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings of work, with two walks and nine strikeouts. Kluber leads all American League pitchers in WAR, making him a deserving candidate for a second Cy Young.
Ramirez hit .429/.500.857 in 24 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 258. He had three doubles on Wednesday, and then another double on Thursday, on Friday, and on Saturday, making him the only Indians player this season to double in four consecutive games. He had five runs and five RBI for the week, and hit his 11th home run and stole his 22nd base.
Santana hit .458/.500.833 in 26 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 258. He homered on Monday and again on Wednesday, each time when the game was tied. On between those blasts he had four hits on Tuesday, his first game with that many hits since 2014. He led the team with six RBI, and tied for the lead with five runs scored.
After a terrible August, Tomlin was removed from the starting rotation. Circumstance conspired to return him there following a two-week absence though, and he's done well since then. Tuesday he allowed one run in 6.2 innings against the Royals, and Saturday he allowed two runs (one earned) in 6.2 innings against the White Sox. He only struck out four batters in his 13.1 innings, but he didn't walk anyone, and he didn't allow any home runs.
Santana was ever so slightly better at the plate than Ramirez last week, especially if you factor in timing, as evidenced by Santana's team-leading 0.63 WPA for the week. When you factor in base-running and defensive value though, I think Ramirez deserves to be ahead, if just barely. Those two have both been tremendous in recent weeks. In September, Santana has an OPS of 1.045, with six doubles and six home runs in 23 games. During the last two months Ramirez is hitting .360/.399/.573, with 32 extra-base hits in 58 games. You'll get no argument from me if you side with either of them, but for me the top player last week was Tomlin, because he turned in two very good outings at a time when the team's starting pitching has been dealt a number of blows.
- 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)
- August 1-7: Mike Napoli
- August 8-14: Jose Ramirez
- August 15-21: Jose Ramirez
- August 22-28: Andrew Miller
- August 29-September 4: Jason Kipnis
- September 5-12: Carlos Santana
- September 13-19: Andrew Miller