1st Half Cy Young: Danny Salazar
The Indians are finally getting a return on their investment into Danny Salazar. The Indians always knew that Salazar had ace potential, but he was plagued with inconsistency for the first three years in his big league career. Salazar has bucked that trend in 2016, as he is currently 10-3 with a 2.75 ERA, which is the second-best ERA in the American League. Salazar currently has 118 strikeouts and just 48 walks in 104 2/3 innings this year, and his stuff has been so nasty this year that Sports Illustrated actually said that Salazar’s changeup was the best in baseball. And while his changeup may be disgusting, he can still blow it by batters with his fastball when need be. Salazar was also named to his first All-Star game, though he did not pitch due to a sore elbow. Look for Salazar to be a catalyst for the Indians second half success.
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1st Half Least Valuable Player: Yan Gomes
It’s been a tough first half for Gomer. Yan Gomes spent most of his 2015 season on the disabled list after he sprained his MCL in April, and he still did not look like himself after he came back from injury. Now many figured that this offseason would be a good period of rest for Gomes and that he would come back 100% in 2016. This might not have been the case, and Gomes is mired the worst year of his professional career, as he’s batting a measly .166 with 8 home runs and 32 RBI. Gomes still has the potential to have a strong second half, as he has a career average of .276 after the all-star break. But overall this has been a first half to forget for the Brazilian backstop.
Next: The Biggest Surprise of the 1st Half?