As we enter the final month of the season, the Indians find themselves within striking distance for a playoff spot for the first time since 2007. There have been some great performances so far this season and there have been some disappointments. Luckily, the Committee of One is here to wade through the muddy waters and determine who have been lived up to expectations and who has been less than spectacular. Without further adieu, these are the September power rankings for the Cleveland Indians.
1. Carlos Santana: After spending months lurking in the top five, Santana finally makes his way to the top of the power ranking heap. He had a respectable month of August, displaying his patented patience at the plate, but also displaying a resurgence in the power department. Add in his move to the clean up spot and suddenly Santana looks like one of the most important Indians as they move forward in their playoff push.
2. Ryan Raburn: Raburn is having a great season and was recently rewarded with a two-year contract extension that should keep him with the good guys through the 2015 season. All he has done in August is continue to hit at an unexpected way. As of August 25th he had 15 home runs and 41 RBI while playing in a limited role. The Indians found a diamond in the rough with Raburn in 2013.
3. Danny Salazar: Perhaps the most unexpected performance in 2013, besides Ryan Raburn, has been that of rookie phenom Danny Salazar. Since being called up from Columbus, he hasn’t just been good. He’s been dominant. His ascension and to legitimate major league starter gives hope for the future while also providing a quality arm for the present.
4. Justin Masterson: After four solid months, Masterson suffered a bit of a downturn in the month of August. As a result, he has fallen to his lowest ranking since the inception of these rankings. However, it’s not as if Masterson was bad. He had just set his standard so high that the slightest of drop offs led to a fall. Look for him to bounce back in September.
5. Nick Swisher: Say what you want about Swisher’s performance this year, but since being installed as the Indians new number two hitter in the lineup he has looked more comfortable and refound his power stroke. The batting average might still be suffering, but Swisher completed his best month of the season in terms of run production.
6. Zach McAllister: Since returning from the DL, McAllister has easily been the Tribe’s best pitcher. he has shown tremendous control while dominating opposing lineups each and every step of the way. His ability to bounce back after a freak finger injury has helped ease the worries surrounding the starting rotation.
7. Michael Bourn: While Bourn struggled at the plate throughout the month of August, his defense continued to shine through. Most notably, his game saving play in the 14 inning marathon against the Angels pointed to how he has not let his defensive struggles effect his play in the field. Bourn may not have scored a ton of runs in August, but he definitely saved his fair share of them.
8. The bullpen: It’s hard to not give credit to the entire bullpen for the way they performed in August. Their shining moment was the 14 inning extravaganza against the Angels. They held the Halos to zero runs over the course of 8.2 innings in which everyone was used, including Carlos Carrasco. Yes, they have had their moments throughout the season where we haven’t been the biggest of fans, but for the most part the bullpen has been solid.
9. Yan Gomes: Once thought of as a throw in piece in the Esmil Rogers for Mike Aviles trade, Gomes has emerged as a legitimate major league bat and a solid back up catcher. He was great during August and had only added more fuel to the fire that has been the argument for more playing time. Terry Francona has done a great job of managing Gomes’ spots this season, but don’t be surprised if he sees more action next season.
10. Drew Stubbs: Stubbs hasn’t been spectacular in 2013, but he’s been solid. His speed on the base paths and stellar defense in right filed has made him a valuable piece for this Indians lineup. It will b interesting to see how the Indians value Stubbs and what they decide to do with him this offseason.