The Cleveland Indians are back! Well, they never really went anywhere, but seeing everyone struggle at the same time to start the season was torture. Those struggles appear to finally be over.
The starting rotation — namely Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and yes even Josh Tomlin — strung together a series of brilliant starts, and despite the unsettling reports that he turned down a huge extension offer from the Indians prior to the season, Francisco Lindor is still here and still amazing.
Some newcomers made the list this week, none more important than Michael Brantley, who lead the team in hits and tied the team in home runs over the last week. Edwin Encarnaion just barely missed with his six hits and two dingers, but his hot streak came too late in the week, too late after striking eight times, to be considered. His time is coming soon, though.
Michael Brantley: 10-25, 1 (2B), 2 HR, 2 BB, 2 SB
The Doc is in — for real this time. Despite playing in almost every Tribe game so far this season, Brantley did not look like himself in the early goings. He was swinging and missing far too much, and that 20 home run power we grew to love in 2015 was gone.
Brantley is still striking out too much, but his swinging strike rate dropped to 6.4 percent last week, and his overall contact rate improve to 86 percent. Baby steps, sure, but still improvements. Add onto that his aforementioned team-leading 10 hits and two home runs, and it was a fine week for the man with the smoothest swing in baseball.
Carlos Santana: 7-23, 2 (2B), 5 BB
After an abysmal start to the season as the Indians leadoff batter, Carlos Santana finally looks like he’s playing for a big contract in the offseason. His seven hits last week were second only to Brantley, he struck out just once — the fewest for any Tribe batter with at least 10 at-bats — and he walked a team-leading five times.
The only thing missing from Santana’s game this week was home run power. He still belted two doubles, tied for the team lead, but none of those hits left the yard.
Yan Gomes: 5-13, 1 (2B)
Sticking with the theme of redemption for this Player of the Week list, Yan Gomes actually managed to hit the ball. Multiple times! In one week, with five hits, Gomes increased his hits by 250 percent. He also hit his first double of the season (although he already had a home run), and he only struck out twice.
Corey Kluber: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 9 SO, 0 ER
Corey Kluber’s total domination of the Chicago White Sox looks like it could end up being the starting point for the return of the Indians rotation to form. After allowing at least six hits in his first three starts, Kluber held the White Sox lineup to just three over a full nine innings of work.
Carlos Carrasco: 14.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 13 SO
Carlos Carrasco just missed himself a complete game shutout of the White Sox on Saturday night, but he still turned in an outstanding eight innings of work. His previous start last Sunday was not too shabby, either — 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 SO.
Who should be the Indians Player of the Week?
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