Cleveland Indians: Who’s hot? Who’s not? after Week 7

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After dropping the first two games of the week, the Cleveland Indians finished week seven with their most productive seven days of baseball to date.

The Tribe won both series this week, taking three of four in Chicago before sweeping the Reds at home. They bring a six-game winning streak into a three-game set with the Rangers.

All in all, Cleveland is red hot.

Let’s take a look at who’s hot and who’s not after the seventh week of the season:

May 19, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop

Mike Aviles

(4) hits a single against the Chicago White Sox during the fourth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s hot?

Mike Aviles

Terry Francona hasn’t gotten enough credit for the job he’s done with the Tribe this season. Despite a number of struggles early this season, both with injuries and productivity, the Indians’ manager has put his guys in the best position to be successful. Aviles has been a significant beneficiary of that job and has really come around over the last week. The super utility man has seven hits in 16 at-bats, including a home run and two RBIs. He has stolen a base and done an excellent job of putting the ball in play striking out just twice this week. He has completely taken over for Jose Ramirez at shortstop against left-handed pitchers and, credit to Francona, the platoon has worked wonders for both players.

Jason Kipnis

No surprise here. Kipnis has hit as well as anyone in the majors through nearly two months of the season and he has shown no signs of slowing down. One of the major catalysts to the Tribe’s May success, Kipnis is hitting .333/.419/.519 with four extra-base hits. He has scored a team-high seven runs while collecting nine hits and three RBIs. Kipnis has been nothing short of a godsend for Francona and the Tribe at the top of the lineup, getting on base and scoring runs ahead of Michael Brantley.

Indians Starters

Pitching and defense. That’s the name of the game for the Indians and, for one week at least, the Indians starters were almost untouchable. Carlos Carrasco posted the worst start of the week, throwing six innings of two-run baseball. Corey Kluber continued his tear, striking out 19 batters and allowing two earned runs across two starts, and Trevor Bauer pitched extremely well yet again, winning both his starts and allowing just two runs in 15 innings on the bump. Throw in six shutout innings by Danny Salazar and a 6.2-inning and two run effort by Marcum, and there’s no wonder the Tribe enters the week winners of six straight.

Who’s not?

Lonnie Chisenhall

While so much has been made about replacing the struggling Ramirez with Francisco Lindor, the inefficient performance by Chisenhall has gone somewhat overlooked. This week, Chisenhall was hitless in 14 at-bats. He struck out four times and was anything but productive at the dish. His season average (.204) sits just above the Mendoza line and, if Giovanny Urshela can get healthy and produce at Triple-A, Chisenhall could very well be in danger of losing his spot in the lineup.

Bryan Shaw

Shaw hasn’t been the set-up man the Indians enjoyed last season. He has struggled to put together productive outings and this week was no different. Shaw was limited to just one outing this week, allowing two runs one a huge home run off the bat of Tyler Flowers. His season ERA is a decent 3.29, but he hasn’t been great keeping inherited runners from touching home.

Michael Brantley

Brantley was due for a bit of a setback. After torching opposing pitchers for much of the first six weeks, Brantley cooled off drastically this week. He collected just four hits in 24 at-bats (.167) and struck out twice. The most incredible part about Brantley, however, is hit ability to make an impact despite his struggles at the dish. Even without his best stuff, the Tribe left fielder drove in a team-best four runs and walked three times. There’s nothing really to see here; he’ll be back on the hot list in no time.

Next: Week 6 - Who's hot? Who's not?

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