It's time for our weekly look at the Indians' top players of the last seven days, in which one man is chosen as better 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
- May 5-11: M.Brantley (editorial pick), J.Tomlin (reader vote)
- May 12-18: David Murphy
- May 19-25: L.Chisenhall (editorial pick), C.Kluber (reader vote)
- May 26-June 1: T.House (editorial pick), C.Kluber (reader vote)
This week's nominees include a pair of guys who've been hitting well for a while now, and a pair of guys who seem to be heating up after slow starts to the season. It's another week where you can make a very good case for a lot of the candidates, so I won't be surprised if we have our fourth split award in the last five weeks.
Cabrera had a line of .296/.345/.556 in 29 PA last week, good for a wRC+ of 154. He also led the team with 2 home runs and 6 runs scored. He had 3 hits on Friday, but his biggest game of the week was on Wednesday against Boston. He singled and scored the first run of the game, then came up with two men on in the bottom of the 12 inning, and smoked a line drive to right field for a walk-off home run.
Chisenhall has a line of .391/.417/.522 in 25 PA last week, good for a wRC+ of 170. His 7 RBI led the team, as did his 0.43 WPA (win probability added). He had 9 hits for the week, including at least one in all six games. He drove in 2 of the Tribe's 3 runs on Monday with a single, and hit a 3-run homer on Saturday that pulled the Indians back within a run.
Masterson made two starts last week. On Monday he pitched 7 shutout innings, striking out 10. At one point he threw an incredible 25 consecutive strikes in a row, which included an absolutely perfect 4th inning, when he struck out all three batters on only three pitches each. Sunday he gave up 2 runs in 5.2 innings, with another 6 strikeouts. For the two games combined, he had a 1.42 ERA, with 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.
Santana only played in three games last week, after returning from the disabled list. He made them count though, with 4 hits and 4 walks, giving him a .500/.667/.875 line in 12 PA, good for a wRC+ of 319. On Saturday he walked in each of his first two trips to the plate, then singled and scored in the 6th, then put the game out of reach with a 2-run homer in the 7th. Welcome back, El Oso.
I would love to pick Santana, because I've been banging the drum for him all season, despite his slump, and I love seeing him hit like this. I can't bring myself to pick a position player who played in only three games though, not when there are other strong candidates. For me, the best of the bunch last week was Masterson. He'd been struggling for a month, and his two games not only provided much needed wins, they restored some of my confidence in him. If Kluber keeps pitching the way he has this season, and Masterson returns to his 2013 form, the Indians have a potent duo at the top of their rotation, and are legitimate contenders.