It has been a season full of ups and downs for the Cleveland Indians, but the always inconsistent “Tribe” appear to be on the incline once again. The team went 4-2 this week with four combined wins against the Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.
Jason Kipnis was a big reason why the Indians excelled and the second basemen was honored with the MLB‘s AL Player of the Week Award for the first time in his career. Even better, Cleveland was the home to two players of the week in one as Cory Kluber split the award with Kipnis for his efforts on the mound. While the Kluber production was unexpected, it’s Kipnis who is paid to reel in such honors.
In fact, Cleveland can argue that Kipnis has been the MVP for its club thus far — in the 25 games that Kipnis has scored a run the Indians are 19-6.
While his job is to set the table for the big-time sluggers in the middle of the order, it just goes to show how influential Kipnis is to his team’s success. With 15 stolen bases this season Kipnis is starting to show the American League just how speedy he can be. In addition, the nine home runs that the Indians’ second baseman has drilled puts him on pace for a rather productive season — keep in mind that Kipnis only hit 14 dingers last year and seven the year before.
Moving forward, Cleveland’s success is going to hinge on what Michael Bourn and Kipnis are doing at the top of the lineup. If the dynamic duo can both reaching base at a rapid pace, then the bombers later in the lineup will be able to drive them in.