It's time for our weekly look at the Indians' top players of the previous seven days, in which one man is chosen as greater than the rest. Be sure to vote for you choice in the poll at the bottom of the post.
This week's candidates offer an interesting offer a pair of big offensive weeks and a pair of good pitching performances.
Bourn's first week back from the DL did not go well, as he went just 2 for 17, but in his second week he led the offense with 11 hits (including at least one in all six games he played), including a pair of triples, and post a batting line of .407/.429/.593. He led off four different games with a hit, giving the Tribe immediate scoring opportunities (though few of his teammates did anything to take advantage of those opportunities). Last week Bourn looked like the player we've all wanted him to be.
Kluber made only one start last week, but it was a beauty. On Thursday against Kansas City, Kluber pitched his first ever complete game and struck out a career-high 11 batters, all while allowing only 4 hits, issuing 0 walks, and allowing only an unearned run. The last time an Indians pitcher tossed a complete game with 11 strikeouts and 0 walks was 1986, when Tom Candiotti did it.
Salazar made two starts last week. The first one went poorly enough that I thought he should be sent down to Columbus for a couple weeks, both because I thought it might help him, and because he wasn't giving the team much of a chance to win. The second start has an argument as the best of his career so far, with 8 strikeouts against only 6 base runners and 1 run allowed in 7 innings. Combined, he had a 3.97 ERA over 11.2 innings, which isn't Player of the Week material, but if Sunday's game is the start of a new trend, the Tribe just got a much-needed boost.
Swisher entered the week batting just .181, with only three extra-base hits in the season's first three week. Swisher picked up 5 hit against Kansas City though, ans then 4 more against San Francisco. Included in those 9 hits were 5 doubles. His line for the week was a very healthy .310/.355/.483. That's similar to the line he put up for the final month or two last season, and hopefully similar to the line he'll post going forward.
Bourn and Swisher (the team's two highest-paid players) and Salazar (the young pitcher with the hopes of so many Tribe fans pinned to him) all showing signs of turning things around after each of them started very slowly was a sight for sore eyes, and an excellent sign for the team's chances as the season continues. Corey Kluber is an easy choice for me though. I believe it was the best pitching performance by any Indian this decade, so if Kluber can't win this honor, no single-game pitcher is ever going to win it.