Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
2013 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Fantasy outlooks: Cleveland Indians

  •  

Listen to our latest Fantasy Baseball Podcast!

The Indians' last playoff appearance was in 2007, but it feels much longer than that.

That's what happens when a rebuilding project shows no clear signs of progress, condemning a team to what should be another 90-loss season ... and another one after that.

The problems begin with the starting rotation. The Indians have wasted so much time developing soft-tossing lefties that they have yet to find anyone who can, you know, get people out. Sure, Fausto Carmona was an All-Star last year -- their only representative, actually -- but at a time when frontline pitching is becoming more and more plentiful across the league, his 1.31 WHIP and 5.3 strikeouts per nine innings don't hold a candle to the competition.

Maybe Justin Masterson can finally take a step forward. Maybe Carlos Carrasco can build off the progress he made late last year. Maybe top prospects Alex White and Drew Pomeranz will coast through the minors and save the day sooner than anyone expected. Maybe.

But even if one or two of those things happen, the Indians will still be a step or two behind the rest of the league.

They do have a little more hope on offense. Five-category stud Shin-Soo Choo and slugging catcher Carlos Santana are both early-rounders in Fantasy. If ex-superstar Grady Sizemore can complete his return from microfracture surgery and regain the form we haven't seen from him since 2008, the Indians will have a halfway respectable middle of the order.

But again, the hope is more in tomorrow than today. It's in prospects like Lonnie Chisenhall, who should eventually bump Jayson Nix from third base, Jason Kipnis, who's doing his best to convert to second base, and Nick Weglarz, whose high walk rate could make him an OPS monster. All three could arrive this year, but none is enough of a surefire, can't-miss prospect to recommend for mixed leagues at this stage of the game.

And so the wait continues.

Breakout ... Carlos Santana, C

Rarely do 150 at-bats carry so much weight for a player, but Santana was so productive at such a position of need that his brief debut last year should give you all the confidence you need to draft him as a high-end option. You know how impressive Buster Posey was last year, beating out Jason Heyward for NL Rookie of the Year honors even though he had two fewer months of production? Well, Santana was matching him stroke for stroke before hurting his knee in August. He actually finished with the higher OPS of the two, and it's not like it was a surprise given his minor-league track record. His unprecedented strike-zone judgment (seriously, who walks more than he strikes out as a rookie, especially among catchers?) should make him a stud even if he doesn't quite hit .300. The fact he's not considered a real risk in Fantasy even coming off knee surgery shows just how much upside he has.

Bust ... Grady Sizemore, OF

Follow us on ...
Get the latest news and analysis from the most informed Fantasy staff in the industry by following us on Twitter and Facebook.
@cbsfantasynews
facebook.com/cbssportsfantasy

Sizemore might be the hardest player to assess in Fantasy this year. He could just as easily be a sleeper as a former first-rounder coming off two injury-plagued seasons, the last one ending in mid-May. But on the tightrope walk between the two extremes, he's leaning the wrong way. Players have had success with microfracture surgery in the NBA, but it's relatively untested in baseball. And for a player whose game depends so much on speed, the knee procedure could be the thread that unravels everything. Even if Sizemore is able to come back strong, even if he plays every day and provides his usual power, he's unlikely to regain his prior form. You can't expect him to steal 30 bases again, and without a significant contribution in that area, his shortcomings, such as his high strikeout rate and suspect batting average, become more pronounced. True, he'll only cost you a middle-round pick, but middle-round production might be the best-case scenario for him.

Sleeper ... Chris Perez, RP

OK, so Perez isn't exactly a nobody in Fantasy. He'll get drafted in every league, in fact. But most Fantasy owners don't seem to grasp just how impressive his breakthrough 2010 season was. From June 28 on, he posted a 0.53 ERA, striking out 37 batters in 34 innings. He allowed less than a hit every two innings during that stretch. A pitcher can't get any more effective than that. So why do Fantasy owners lump him with the David Aardsmas of the world when he's performing on the level of Mariano Rivera? True, he pitches for a bad team, but that hasn't stopped Joakim Soria from earning elite status in Fantasy and accumulating 35-plus saves every year. At a time when so many big-name closers -- from Francisco Rodriguez to Andrew Bailey to Jonathan Broxton -- have so many concerns, Perez is more valuable than anyone gives him credit for. He's a late-rounder who's almost sure to perform like a middle-rounder, if not better.

Cleveland Indians Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Grady Sizemore CF 1 Fausto Carmona RH
2 Asdrubal Cabrera SS 2 Justin Masterson RH
3 Shin-Soo Choo RF 3 Carlos Carrasco RH
4 Carlos Santana C 4 Mitch Talbot RH
5 Travis Hafner DH 5 Josh Tomlin RH
6 Matt LaPorta 1B Alt Jeanmar Gomez RH
7 Jayson Nix 3B
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Jason Donald 2B CL Chris Perez RH
9 Michael Brantley LF SU Rafael Perez LH
Top bench options RP Jensen Lewis RH
R Austin Kearns OF RP Tony Sipp LH
R Luis Valbuena INF RP Joe Smith RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2010 high Destination
1 Lonnie Chisenhall 22 3B Double-A Triple-A
Maybe not a 30-homer guy but a complete enough hitter to matter in Fantasy. Likely starting by July.
2 Jason Kipnis 23 2B Double-A Triple-A
Converted outfielder still learning second base, but his bat should make him a Fantasy mainstay when he arrives.
3 Alex White 22 SP Double-A Triple-A
Ceiling still in question but doesn't need ace stuff to be Indians' best starter. Could arrive by midseason.
4 Nick Weglarz 23 OF Triple-A Triple-A
Power and patience could make him an OPS monster if glove doesn't stop him. Someone to watch this summer.
5 Drew Pomeranz 22 SP DNP -- unsigned Class A
First-rounder in 2010 has legitimate ace potential but needs to prove himself in minor leagues first.
Best of the rest: Jason Knapp, SP; Nick Hagadone, SP; Vinnie Pestano, RP; LeVon Washington, OF; Tony Wolters, SS; Joe Gardner, SP; Bryce Stowell, RP; Cord Phelps, 2B; Scott Barnes, SP; Zach Putnam, RP; Robert Bryson, RP; Josh Judy, RP; Ezequiel Carrera, OF; and Corey Kluber, SP.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Team outlooks in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Zack Cozart totals five RBI in Cubs series
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:31 am ET) Reds shortstop Zack Cozart totaled a season-high three hits during an 8-2 win Sunday against the Cubs. Among his three hits were an RBI double in the fourth inning and two-run homer in the seventh inning.

Cozart, who scored twice, had his first home run of the season Sunday. He totaled five RBI in the three-game series at Chicago.


Todd Frazier has nine runs in his last seven games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:28 am ET) Reds third baseman Todd Frazier had a single, double, one RBI and two runs during Sunday's game against the Cubs. It was the fourth time in his last seven games Frazier accounted for two runs.

Frazier is batting just .179 (5 for 28) in his last seven games, but he has two doubles, two home runs, five RBI and nine runs in that span.


Jay Bruce hits safely in five of last six games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) Reds outfielder Jay Bruce doubled and homered during an 8-2 win Sunday against the Cubs. Bruce's third home run of the season was a solo shot off Jose Veras leading off the seventh inning.

Bruce, who scored twice and struck out twice Sunday, has hit safely in five of his last six games. He is batting .333 (7 for 21) with one home run, two RBI, three doubles, nine runs, seven walks and one stolen base in his last six games.


Brock Holt is 'the next candidate' to hit leadoff for Boston
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:17 am ET) The Red Sox used their fifth different leadoff hitter in 20 games when infielder Brock Holt got the nod Monday against the Orioles.

The Red Sox are hopeful Holt, who is batting .400 (4 for 10) since his recall from the minors, will provide a spark atop the lineup since Boston players are batting just .175 (14 for 80) with eight walks out of the leadoff spot.

"He’s had very good at-bats, both lefties and righties," manager John Farrell said, per ESPN. "Throughout his minor-league career he’s been a top-of-the-order hitter, so there’s no hesitancy putting him in that spot. In the short time that he’s been there he’s seen some pitches, he’s had some long at-bats.

"While we’re still searching for that one true guy in that spot, this is the next candidate."


Neil Walker has five home runs in last 10 games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:11 am ET) Pirates second baseman Neil Walker snapped a 1-for-15 slump with a 3-for-6 performance Sunday against the Brewers.

Walker's first hit of the afternoon was a solo home run off Marco Estrada with two outs in the fourth inning, putting Pittsburgh up 1-0. Walker added a single in the bottom of the eighth and a single in the bottom of the 13th inning.

Walker has six home runs, with five coming in his last 10 games. He is slugging .513 through 19 games.


Mark Reynolds homers in two straight games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:02 am ET) Brewers outfielder Mark Reynolds homered for the second straight game Sunday at Pittsburgh. Reynolds had a one-out double in the fifth inning before he led off the eighth inning with a solo home run off Gerrit Cole, which tied the game at 1.

Reynolds, who started all four games at first base against Pittsburgh, hit .333 (5 for 15) with one double, two home runs and two RBI during the series. He also had one walk, three runs and three strikeouts. 

Reynolds has five home runs and is slugging .558 through 15 games. However, he is batting just .231 with 20 strikeouts.


Khris Davis' first home run proves to be game winner
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:55 am ET) Brewers outfielder Khris Davis totaled three hits, including the go-ahead home run, during a 3-2 win in 14 innings Sunday at Pittsburgh. Davis other two hits were singles and he struck out twice in six at-bats.

Davis put the Brewers ahead 3-2 when he led off the top of the 14th inning with a solo home run off Jeanmar Gomez. Francisco Rodriguez picked up the save in the bottom of the inning to secure the 3-2 win.

Davis entered Sunday's game mired in a 2-for-24 slump over his previous seven games. He had just one RBI in that span. Sunday's home run was his first of the season.


Ryan Braun connects for three home runs over the weekend
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:50 am ET) A day after producing his second multi-homer game of the season, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun connected for his sixth home run Sunday at Pittsburgh. Braun tied the game at 2 in the ninth inning with a one-out solo home run off Pirates closer Jason Grilli.

Braun finished the 14-inning game 2 for 5 with one walk. He is batting .370 (20 for 54) with a .796 slugging percentage and 1.193 OPS in his last 13 games. He has one triple, three doubles, six home runs, 14 RBI and 15 runs in that span.


Jason Heyward collects three hits vs. Mets
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:43 am ET) Braves outfielder Jason Heyward tied a season high with three hits Sunday against the Mets. It was just his third multi-hit game in 17 appearances.

Heyward had a single in the first inning, an RBI double in the fifth inning and another single in the seventh inning. He scored once, struck out twice and was caught stealing.


Jameson Taillon doing well after undergoing elbow surgery
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:39 am ET) Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said starting pitcher prospect Jameson Taillon is doing well after undergoing Tommy John surgery April 9. Taillon will miss the rest of the 2014 season.

"Early rehab is great, he's getting range of motion back, all positive so far," Huntington said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


 
 
 
Rankings