By Steve Williams on May 23, 2014
The Cleveland Indians got off to a pretty slow start in 2014, but have played much better as of late. The Tribe needed to start making a push, as they had fallen well behind in the AL Central race. And without these five players, the Indians would be in a much worse situation than they are now.
Gomes hasn't played the best on the defensive end, but has made up for it with some good hitting. A decent hitting catcher is very valuable in the major leagues, and Gomes is much more than decent. He also has started about 80 percent of the Indians' games behind the plate, which is very rare in today's game.
.277 BA, six HRs and 18 RBIs.
Shaw has been great in the back end of the bullpen since John Axford was removed from the closer's role. Shaw has succeeded in whatever situation he has been put in, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Shaw and Cody Allen have been splitting the closing opportunities recently, and Shaw has shined in the role.
23.1 IP, 1.54 ERA, and 0.81 WHIP.
David Murphy was a largely unnoticed free agent signing this offseason. Murphy had struggled in 2013 with the Texas Rangers, but has found his hitting stroke this year. Murphy has hit anywhere from clean-up to the ninth spot in the lineup, and has produced wherever he has been slotted.
.294 BA, five HRs and 30 RBIs.
Kluber has been the only consistent starting pitcher for the Indians this year. He has helped stop more than a few losing streaks, and has been one of the most important players to the Tribe. He is slowly turning into a legitimate ace, and his strikeout rate has skyrocketed in 2014.
4-3 record, 3.43 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.
Brantley has been by far the best hitter for the Tribe in 2014. Brantley is currently leading the Indians in batting average, homeruns, and runs batted in. Without Brantley's clutch hitting, Cleveland would be in a world of hurt.
.302, nine HRs and 36 RBIs.
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