It's time for our weekly look at the Indians' top players of the last seven days, in which one man is chosen as greater than the rest. Be sure to vote for you choice in the poll included at the bottom.
- March 31-April 6: Lonnie Chisenhall
- April 7-13: David Murphy
- April 14-20: Michael Brantley
- April 21-27: Corey Kluber
- April 28-May 4: Carlos Santana
This week's nominees include three hitters who each posted big numbers, and a starting pitcher who wasn't even on the roster a week ago.
Aviles took over as second baseman this week (after it initially appeared the position would be covered by committee) and posted a line of .476/.455/.762 (the rare BA higher than OBP, caused by a sacrifice and no walks). He had 10 hits, including 4 for extra bases, and drove in 5 runs. He had 3 hits on Wednesday, including a 10th-inning single that gave the Tribe its first walk-off win of the season, and he hit a 3-run home run in Friday's win.
Brantley posted a .357/.419/.679 line, collecting 10 hits, including 2 home runs. He drove in a team-high 7 runs during the week as well, including a 2-run double in Wednesday's win, and a solo shot to lead off the 7th inning on Friday, tying the game. Brantley had at least one hit in all seven games during the week, and is now riding an 11-game hitting streak.
Cabrera entered the week with a .218 batting average and .625 OPS. He went 0 for 7 to begin the week, then got hot in a hurry, with 10 hits in the last five games, giving him a line of .357/.400/.679 for the week. On Thursday he had 4 hits and just missed joining the seven players in franchise history who've hit for the cycle. He added another 3 hits in Friday's win, including his second home run in as many days. He scored a team-high 6 runs for the week.
Tomlin made his first MLB start in nearly two years on Tuesday, and allowed only 1 run in 6.2 innings, allowing only 5 baserunners in a 4-2 win. Sunday he made another quality start, allowing 2 runs in 6 innings. For the two games combined, his ERA was 2.13 and his WHIP was 0.87. He allowed a home run in each game, and only recorded 6 strikeouts in 12.2 innings, but he also walked only one. Welcome back, Little Cowboy.
Tomlin is tempting to me, because a player coming up from Columbus and giving the team two good starts in one week means a lot, but especially on Sunday, it felt like he was playing with fire, and while I admire his having kept from getting burned, I think the hitters' big weeks slightly trump Tomlin. Aviles had the least playing time, so while I appreciate how well he played while filling in for Kipnis (and hope he can continue it for another two or three weeks), less playing time means fewer contributions. Brantley and Cabrera are close, but giving the timing of their production, with Cabrera basically having two huge games, while Brantley provided some help in all seven games, I think the slight edge goes to Dr. Smooth. That makes him the first two-time winner of the season, which is fitting, given that he's been the best player on the team.
Congratulations for the second time, Michael!