Cleveland Indians: Who is hot and who is not after week 16

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The Cleveland Indians are running out of time.

While they are a long way from being eliminated from postseason contention, the Tribe has put themselves in an unfortunate position where every game matters right now. They are an insurmountable 14 games out of first place in the AL Central, sitting in the cellar behind a surging Chicago White Sox team.

Yet, they’re only six games off the Wild Card race with seven teams to pass before the playoffs begin. It’s lofty, no doubt, but not out of the realm of possibility just yet.

The quality of Cleveland’s starting pitching has kept them in the race and, should their offense ever begin to produce like their capable, this could be a season reminiscent of 2013 when the Tribe got hot in the final week to back into a one-game playoff.

It’s not time to look ahead to next season just yet. Let’s take a look at who’s hot and who’s not after the sixteenth week of the season:

Jul 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Indians center fielder

Michael Bourn

(24) and right fielder

Tyler Holt

(13) celebrate after defeating the Oakland Athletics 3-1 at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s hot?

Michael Bourn

If only for a short period of time, the Indians are finally seeing why they signed him to such a lucrative deal a few seasons ago. The speedy center fielder has been on an absolute tear since the All-Star Break, hitting .357/.413/.429 and making things happen with his speed on the bases. This week, alone, Bourn was 9-for-24 with four stolen bases in seven games. He appears to be healthy and, if he is, the Indians’ veteran outfielder could garner some interest from contending teams that would allow the Tribe to shed the rest of his grossly inflated contract.

Lonnie Chisenhall

For whatever reason, Chisenhall always seems to play well in games immediately following his return from Triple-A. Since getting the call back to Cleveland, Chisenhall has played in four games, going 5-for-14 with a solo home run and a stolen base. He has played well – at least when compared to Brandon Moss – in right field and he’s even tried his hand in the leadoff spot with Jason Kipnis shelved with a right shoulder injury. If the Tribe brass is certain about Giovanny Urshela as the team’s third baseman moving forward, Chisenhall may be another piece who could garner interest in a post-deadline deal.

Trevor Bauer

Bauer has been red-hot in his last two starts and has put together two of his best starts of the season in consecutive outings. Despite the loss to Kansas City on Tuesday, Bauer has tossed 15.2 innings – including his first career complete game – to the tune of three earned runs and 12 strikeouts. He certainly didn’t help himself with the four walks in Sunday’s outing in Oakland, but the Tribe’s young right-hander seems to have found his way on the mound this season…and he has shown no signs of slowing down.

Jul 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher

Cody Anderson

(56) talks with Cleveland Indians pitching coach

Mickey Callaway

(32) during the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s not?

Cody Anderson

After four consecutive dominate starts to begin his big league career, Anderson has been ineffective in each of his last three outings for the Tribe. In two starts this week, the Indians right-hander has tossed 12.1 innings and allowed a whopping 10 earned runs. Opponents are hitting .286 against him and he, unlike the other Indians’ starters, cannot lean on the strikeout to get himself out of big innings. His inefficiency mixed with the Tribe’s inability to put runs on the board has been a recipe for disaster when the 24-year-old is on the bump.

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Mike Aviles

Aviles has gotten the call to cover Kipnis at second base while the Tribe’s All-Star is on the mend, but it hasn’t been pretty this week. In four games this week, Aviles has just one hit (1-for-14). Since the All-Star Break, Aviles has been horrific, hitting .086 (3-for-35) without an RBI. He isn’t getting many opportunities this season – and chances are he isn’t completely focused on baseball, for good reason – but his reps will likely continue to decrease as the younger guys continue to surpass him in the rotation.

Giovanny Urshela

Expectedly, it’s been a hot and cold type of season for Urshela. When he’s hot, the 23-year-old third baseman has been very efficient with his at-bats. But when he’s cold, like he has been this week, he has looked alarmingly overmatched. In seven games this week, Urshela has just five hits in 26 at-bats. He has fanned five times, including a three strikeout performance in Oakland this weekend. Not surprisingly, Urshela’s struggles this season have come against right-handed pitching. A right-handed hitter, Urshela is hitting just .198 against righties compared to a whopping .368 in 38 at-bats against lefties.

Next: Week 16 - Who's hot? Who's not?

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