Travis Hafner may not have had the type of first half to earn him a bid to the All-Star Game , but if there were an award for the hottest bat since the start of summer, Hafner would surely be one of the top candidates.
After earning American League Player of the Month honors in June, Hafner hasn't showed any signs of slowing down in July. Hafner earned the Bank of America presents the American Player of the Week honors for the week ending July 11 with another week of strong performances at the plate.
In eight games during the week span, Hafner batted .480, going 12-for-25, with seven runs scored, three doubles, four home runs and 12 RBIs.
The hot week should not be a surprise to anyone who has been following Hafner's numbers since the start of June. In the past month and a half, Hafner has been on an absolute tear for the Indians. The left-hander has hit .382 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs in 34 games since June 1.
Manager Eric Wedge realizes the importance of Hafner to his offense, acknowledging so with his response to questions about why he gave Hafner a day of rest earlier in the week.
"If anybody thinks I don't want to play Travis Hafner, they're crazy," Wedge said. "They need to check themselves."
With his strong numbers, Hafner has been one of the main catalysts for the re-emergence of the Indians' offense and the club's improved record. The Tribe has gone 22-15 during Hafner's hot streak after starting off the year 25-26 heading into the month of June.
And though Hafner may not be spending his three-day break in Detroit, having a few days off is not something that Hafner expects will slow down his streak.
"With three days off, I think I should be good to go in the second half," Hafner said.
Kelly Thesier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.