Currently riding a franchise record 14-game winning streak, the Cleveland Indians are arguably one of the best teams in the MLB and undoubtedly the hottest team in the game. After a remarkable June that saw the club finish with a 22-6 record, every man on the roster—from top-to-bottom and everywhere in between—contributed throughout the month. But, two Indians notched monthly awards in helping lead the team to the best month in franchise history. Starting pitcher Danny Salazar and outfielder Tyler Naquin were named American League Pitcher of the Month and Rookie of the Month for their efforts in June, respectively, the team announced on Saturday.
The entire starting rotation dominated throughout the month, especially during the current winning streak, but Salazar stuck out to the MLB. In the month of June, the right-hander posted a perfect 5-0 record. He had a 1.91 ERA while striking out 35 hitters and allowing just 20 hits in 33 innings. Opposing hitters had just a .177/.292/.273 slash line against the 26-year-old.
So far in 2016, the hurler owns a 10-3 record with an AL-best 2.22 ERA. He has 107 strikeouts, 43 walks, has allowed just 61 hits, and opposing hitters have a .185/.280/.289 slash line in 93.1 innings (15 starts). Although he is a right-handed pitcher, Salazar has done better against left-handed hitters so far this season:
- opposing right-handed hitters: .207/.308/.626, five doubles, five home runs, 55 strikeouts
- opposing left-handed hitters: .160/.246/.499, nine doubles, one triple, one home run, 52 strikeouts
Naquin, while in the bottom part of the batting order, was one of the team's hottest hitters throughout the month of June. In 23 games (20 starts), he had a .338/.434/.785 slash line and totaled five doubles, three triples, six home runs, 15 RBIs, and two stolen bases in 65 at-bats.
So far this season, the 25-year-old has a .319/.383/.577 slash line with seven doubles, five triples, six home runs, 17 RBIs, and two stolen bases in just 51 games (38 starts) and 135 at-bats. In his first year in the MLB, Naquin has been one of the biggest surprises in the Indians' outfield and has filled out quite nicely in place of Michael Brantley. Although he throws with his right hand, he is a left-handed hitter and Naquin has done much better against righties although his average is pretty similiar for both so far in 2016:
- vs. righties: .317/.379/.945, four doubles, four triples, six home runs, 13 RBIs in 120 at-bats
- vs. lefties: .333/.412/.1.078, three doubles, one triple, no home runs, four RBIs in 14 at-bats
Entering the season, Salazar was the team's third starter and is staring at his first All-Star appearance. Naquin has benefitted greatly from the injury sustained by Michael Brantley, and has filled in admirably at the plate since the start of he season.