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.
This week's nominees are an odd bunch, largely because the offense didn't do much, and what was done was more of a group effort than usual.
Aviles started only 4 games and had only had 15 plate appearances last week, but he made them count, posting a batting line of .571/.600/.786, with 8 hits, including a home run and a single that plated the winning run on Saturday, and he drove in a team-high 5 runs. In a week marked by mediocre offense by most of the regulars, Aviles stands out as easily the best bat of the week.
Bauer had maybe his best start as an Indian on Saturday, allowing only 2 runs in 6 innings, with 8 strikeouts (including 2 against Troy Tulowitzki, baseball's best player so far this season) on just 4 hits and only 1 walk. It was a nice bounce back from a rough outing in his previous start, and another reason to think the Indians just might have another good pitcher.
House's first start (a week and a half ago) was a mess, but last week he did a great job on Wednesday against the White Sox, giving up only 1 run in 6.1 innings against Chicago, with 8 strikeouts against only 5 hits and a walk. He got through all of that on only 87 pitches. The offense and bullpen kept him from picking up his first MLB win, but he still pitched one heck of a game.
Kluber started Friday night's game against Colorado, a team that had been striking out less often than any other in the National League. No pitcher had recorded more than 9 strikeouts against them, but Kluber racked up 12 of them in 7.1 innings, while allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits (1 HR) and a walk. This game wrapped up a May in which Kluber became only the fourth pitcher in franchise history (and first since 1970) to record 60+ strikeouts in a month. He's pretty good.
Kluber has been incredible this week, but if you're choosing from the pitching performances, I think House is the way to go. He didn't have quite as many strikeouts, but he also didn't allow a home run, and he was facing a team that's been hitting very well in a park that favors the long ball.
Someone pointed out last week that defense matters too, which is of course true. Aviles would have been my pick if he'd had a solid defensive week, but an error on Wednesday allowed the decisive run to reach base, and another error on Sunday led to another unearned run. After docking him some credit for those miscues, the guy filling in while Zach McAllister is out is my choice for Indians Player of the Week.