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

2013 Fantasy outlooks: Cleveland Indians

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The Cleveland Indians underwent a major overhaul this offseason, making a number of moves through both free agency and trades. The result? A projected Opening Day lineup that features just four players that were on the 2012 squad, a new leadoff hitter, and a gamble on a young pitcher who could make a lasting impact while also helping to immediately turn around the fortunes of a club that went 68-94 last season, limping to a fourth-place finish in the AL Central.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

Outside of bringing in Terry Francona to manage the team, it's somewhat tough to pinpoint Cleveland's biggest transaction of the offseason; instead of a major move to energize the fan base, Cleveland made a series of upper-mid-level moves that delivered several jolts. The most recent was the signing of Michael Bourn, who had become a baseball nomad, possibly costing any team signing him its first-round draft pick. The speedster, who has stolen 50 or more bases three times in the last four years, will lead off this new-look lineup. Personifying the offseason strategy even more was the four-year contract given to Ohio's own Nick Swisher. Over the last four years with the Yankees, Swisher was the picture of dependability, batting .268 and sporting an OPS of .850. He never dipped below 30 doubles, 23 home runs, or 82 RBI in a season over that span. But his ceiling isn't much higher. Swisher is solid, but he will not be mistaken for Josh Hamilton.

Two players offering nowhere near the dependability of Swisher or Bourn are fellow additions Mark Reynolds and Drew Stubbs. Reynolds is basically the polar opposite of what Casey Kotchman offered the team at first base last season, bringing lots of power and strikeouts -- and the excitement that comes from the big swings. Stubbs, meanwhile, was acquired from the Reds in the trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati. Originally projected as the starter in center field, Stubbs is likely ticketed for a corner spot after the Bourn signing. His average has fluctuated between .213 and .267 over the last four seasons, and there's no way of telling if Stubbs will hit 25 home runs or 15. But he will steal 30-40 bases and, like Reynolds, he tends to strike out a great deal. In fact, just two seasons ago, Stubbs (205, NL) and Reynolds (196, AL) led their respective leagues in strikeouts.

The trade that brought Stubbs to Cleveland also netted arguably the most exciting piece of the 2013 puzzle -- pitcher Trevor Bauer, one of the game's top prospects (at least before last season). Bauer was called up to Arizona in June with a ton of fanfare but fizzled in four appearances, sporting a 6.06 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. To many, this is the lasting picture of Bauer: a failed trip to the majors that cancels out all the good he did in the minors (3.00 ERA, 200 strikeouts in 156 innings). But Bauer has repeatedly said he was affected by a groin injury, and if Fantasy owners are willing to believe him and use a late-round pick on Bauer, they may be rewarded with 2012's No. 9 prospect (according to Baseball America) fulfilling his promise.

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Michael Bourn CF
2. Jason Kipnis 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera SS
4. Nick Swisher 1B
5. Carlos Santana C
6. Mark Reynolds DH
7. Drew Stubbs RF
8. Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
9. Michael Brantley LF
Bench Chris McGuiness 1B/DH
Bench Mike Aviles 2B/SS/3B

The Indians rounded out their bench with the versatile duo of Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes, and snagged a big bat in Chris McGuiness from the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft. They even brought in Jason Giambi on a minor-league contract, although the lineup is already stacked with left-handed and switch hitters.The Indians already had a roster full of players who could go either way in 2013: Jason Kipnis had a second half swoon, Asdrubal Cabrera battled wrist injuries and saw his production drop, Lonnie Chisenhall had solid minor league numbers but hasn't done much time in the majors, Ubaldo Jimenez frustratingly goes from brilliant to bum without warning, Justin Masterson took a major step back in 2012 (but has said that minor pre-2012 surgery affected his preparation for the season), and Carlos Carrasco is coming back from Tommy John surgery. And let's not forget about the ultimate risk: Daisuke Matsuzaka, who played for Francona in Boston and signed a minor league deal in February; he could, conceivably, enter the rotation mix, bumping Zach McAllister to the pen. Now mix in Bourn, Swisher, Stubbs, Reynolds, Bauer, and Brett Myers (who has produced ERAs of 3.14 and 4.46 the last two seasons in which he started), and the picture gets a litte riskier, but far more exciting and optimistic.

From a Fantasy perspective, we're looking at a lot of risk-taking and finger-crossing. But if things break the right way, which is highly probable, the Indians could be chock-full of value in 2013.

Sleeper... Lonnie Chisenhall, third base

A top prospect in 2010 and 2011, Chisenhall offers a good deal of power, solid average and even some speed. The 24-year-old has 12 home runs in 354 major league at-bats, along with an average of .260. But with everyday at-bats as the expected starter in 2013, Chisenhall should benefit from regular playing time and a much-improved lineup surrounding him. A safe estimate for this year would be a .265 average with 17 home runs and 20 doubles, but don't be surprised if he ends up more around .280, with 22 home runs and 30 doubles. His upside makes him draftable in the late rounds of deeper mixed leagues and a must-draft in AL-only formats.

Rotisserie stud ... Drew Stubbs, outfield

Stubbs has stolen at least 30 bases in each of the last three seasons and has the capability to hit 20 home runs -- although that mark may be difficult to meet in 2013 as he moves away from the hitter-friendly confines of the Great American Ballpark. Stubbs does not hit a lot of doubles (his career high is 22) and he strikes out a lot -- two factors that drive his value down in points leagues. But Roto players only worry about strikeouts and doubles as tangential factors in determining batting average, RBI, and runs. Stubbs has seen his average dip in each of the past three years, but he is erratic enough to keep a bounceback to the .260 range as a very real possibility. He has the ability to put up a 20-40 season, making Stubbs worth a late-round gamble in deep Roto league drafts for 2013.

Impact prospect ... Chris McGuiness, designated hitter

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Ubaldo Jimenez RHP
2. Justin Masterson RHP
3. Brett Myers RHP
4. Zach McAllister RHP
5. Trevor Bauer RHP
ALT Carlos Carrasco RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Chris Perez RHP
2. Vinnie Pestano RHP
3. Nick Hagadone LHP
4. Bryan Shaw RHP
5. Matt Albers RHP

Because he was selected in the Rule 5 Draft, the Indians have to keep McGuiness on the 25-man roster this season or risk having to send him back to the Rangers. Before Bourn signed on, McGuiness couldn't have landed in a better spot; the Indians are moving past the Travis Hafner era at DH (he signed with the Yankees), and McGuiness profiles nicely in that role. The lefty has never had a major league at-bat, but hit .268 with 23 home runs and 25 doubles last year in Double-A and had 19 home runs and 23 doubles while hitting .284 in 2010 (his 2011 was cut short by knee and oblique injuries). Additionally, McGuiness was MVP of the 2012 Arizona Fall League, hitting .370 with four home runs and 27 RBI. He may have taken a circuitous route to the majors, but McGuiness should make a nice impact as a rookie in 2013 if he wins a spot on the roster. He's likely in the mix for some DH at-bats, and could pop up at first base occasionally, as well.

Prospects Report

The Indians have an interesting situation heading into 2013, as far as their farm system goes. Some of their best prospects -- Bauer, McGuiness, and Gomes -- were acquisitions, and join their own top talent in jumping right in and playing immediately. ... Chisenhall is a home-grown product who is about to make his mark, Zach McAllister has been in the system for three years and looks to end up in the rotation, and Ezequiel Carrera is poised for a bench spot and occasional playing time, as well. ... There's a major drop-off, with Nick Hagadone -- a much-needed bullpen lefty -- the next-closest prospect, followed by a good amount of talent deeper in the ranks, including Francisco Lindor, Tony Wolters, Mitch Brown, Tyler Naquin, and Dorssys Paulino. ... The big names have already arrived, and it will be at least a year or two until the possible stars bubble to the top of the system. On the bright side, if Cleveland is in contention late in the season, some of these youngsters can be traded for immediate help. And if not, they continue to rise in the ranks and help the team in the future. But keeper owners looking for the down-the-road gem here are probably best served going after Lindor and leaving the rest for 2014 or even 2015 drafts.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @nandocbs . You can also send us an e- mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Red Sox's Henry Owens impresses during camp
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:19 am ET) Red Sox pitcher Henry Owens impressed during batting practice recently, according to the Boston Herald

Owens hadn't faced big league hitters since last spring training, and had something to prove. While Owens didn't have great fastball command during the session, his changeup was spot on. 

"Great deception, hard to pick up," catcher Ryan Hanigan said. "He got me on the changeup today because you can’t see the spin. It looks just like his fastball. That’s a huge advantage."

Pitching coach Juan Nieves agreed, but said he wasn't sure whether Owens was ready for the majors just yet. "Is anybody ready to come to the big leagues?" Nieves said. "I don’t know. We don’t know until they get there and experience the competition."

The 22-year-old Owens enters the year as the team's second-best prospect according to Baseball America. He posted a 2.94 ERA over two minor-league levels last year. 


Brewers GM confident Jean Segura will bounce back
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Brewers general manager Doug Melvin expressed confidence Saturday that shortstop Jean Segura will bounce back after a subpar 2014 season, the Journal Sentinel reports.

"I'm pretty confident he's going to bounce back," Melvin said. "He had a very good September. He had a lot of stuff going on last year. But everybody says he's a much happier person and everything. He's a good, athletic player that we need."

After delivering a .294 average, smacking 12 home runs and stealing 44 bases in 2013, Segura hit just .246/.289/.326 with five home runs, 31 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 513 at-bats in 2014.


Brewers' Dontrelle Willis making a good impression in camp
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Brewers pitcher Dontrelle Willis has made a favorable impression during camp, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

In particular, Willis has impressed manager Ron Roenicke. "He's got a great attitude," Roenicke said. "The things he said are exactly what you want a player to say. He gets it." Willis has also made a strong impression on his new teammates.

Willis, 33, has not pitched in the majors since 2011. He's attempting to make a come back with the Brewers this spring. 


Blue Jays' Michael Saunders: 'No pain' day after surgery
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders said Saturday that he's feeling no pain one day after undergoing knee surgery, the Toronto Sun reports.

"I feel great," Saunders said. "I couldn’t believe it when I woke up this morning and I was walking around just fine. I walked out of surgery just fine. I actually started doing some exercises today and just got checked out by the doctor and he was pleasantly surprised with what he saw. There’s not as much swelling as he originally thought. Everything is checking out so far and everything is good news. No pain. It feels like I banged my knee on a pole and it’s a tiny bit swollen."

Saunders suffered a torn meniscus while tracking a foul ball Wednesday, tripping over a sprinkler head and hearing a popping sound. After initially being told he could need to have the meniscus repaired, a procedure that carries a recovery time of three-to-five months, Saunders had the torn portion of the meniscus removed, which places him on track to return to action within six weeks. While the outfielder is excited to be back on the field in a much shorter time, he indicated he'll be cautious with his rehab.

"I’m going to miss some spring training but it could be a lot worse," Saunders said. "My ligaments are intact. For me this is the best-case scenario. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I’m ready to go. I’d love to say that I’ll be ready opening day. That’s my goal. But we’re targeting more mid-April, on the safe side. At the end of the day I have to listen to my knee. It’s a long season. I’m going to get this right the first time and not rush back."


Athletics' Doolittle hoping to throw in a week or two
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle is hoping to be cleared to throw in a week or two, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Doolittle was able to participate in strength tests on Saturday, and the results were positive. He has not been cleared to throw just yet, but is hoping that will come shortly. Doolittle has been sidelined by a shoulder injury during the start of camp. 

The 28-year-old posted a 2.73 ERA over 62 2/3 innings last year. 


Rays release OF Josh Sale
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The Rays have released outfielder Josh Sale, Baseball America reports.

Sale was suspended for use of performance-enhancing drugs in 2013 as well as for conduct detrimental to the team that same season. He received a 50-game suspension last August for a second positive test for a drug of abuse. Before his most recent suspension, he hit .238/.313/.344 with four home runs and 46 RBI in 323 at-bats with high Class A Charlotte.


Yankees' Cashman downplays Bailey's chances of making team
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Yankees general manager Brian Cashman downplayed reliever Andrew Bailey's chances of making the 25-man roster, according to the Journal News.

Bailey, 30, is attempting to come back from a shoulder injury. He has not pitched in the majors since 2013 due to the issue. While Bailey has been able to participate in bullpen sessions this spring, Cashman took a more realistic view of the situation. "It’s one of those things where, non-roster situation, it’s a flyer, and the odds are against it," Cashman said. "And it didn’t work out for us last year. But because of who he is, his makeup, his work ethic, all those things, it made it easier to say, 'All right, let's keep trying,'" he added. 

Cashman stressed that while things look good now, the team wants to see how Bailey will respond in game situations. Bailey, meanwhile, has been optimistic during camp, saying he feels like he's finally over his injury.

Bailey posted a 3.77 ERA over 28 2/3 innings back in 2013. 


Hinch: Astros' Torreyes has 'earned every chance to get a look'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Astros infielder Ronald Torreyes checks in at about 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds, but his success at avoiding strikeouts has manager A.J. Hinch ready to give him a chance at showing what he can do this spring, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"You like to see these guys play," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He can look to our starting lineup at the top or hitting first or second and he’ll see a guy who is pretty successful who is not the biggest guy in the world. I see a unique size for this level, but the way he’s hit and the way he’s performed he’s earned every chance to get a look."

Torreyes was added to the team's 40-man roster in November after hitting .298/.345/.376 with two home runs, 46 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 460 at-bats with Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2014.

"He doesn’t look like a ballplayer because he’s little like me, but he’s a young bull," Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said. "He hits a lot and plays good defense. Last year they put him on the 40-man roster because he has a good chance to help us. There aren’t many players like him so skinny and little in the big leagues, so when you see him for the first time you say, 'You know he has to be good to be here.' Then when you see him hit you realize the organization has a good reason to give him this opportunity."

Torreyes will look for an opportunity to latch on as a utility player this spring. He's capable of seeing work at second base, shortstop and third base as well as in left field and center field.


Yoga has Twins' Trevor May 'much fresher than ever before'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Twins starting pitcher Trevor May has looked to improve flexibility coming into his competition for a rotation spot this spring by turning to yoga to help repeat his delivery, the Star Tribune reports.

"I’ve been doing yoga for 30 or 40 minutes every morning, and I’m much fresher than ever before," May said. "Every scouting report I’ve ever seen on myself says, 'Has trouble repeating his delivery.' Well, yoga is literally repeating moves, keeping your body under your control. I do the warrior pose, which is [the same as] striding and throwing a baseball. It has to help."

May initially struggled in his major-league debut last season, but he hopes the perseverance he showed and his improvements near the end of the season help set him apart in the battle for a rotation spot this spring.

"Obviously I don’t know exactly what the people who are making decisions are thinking, but showing I can be successful after having my face beat up for two months, showing I can work through it, it’s a trait you have to have," May said. "I take pride in the fact that I didn’t give up. I didn’t let it get me down."


Twins 1B Joe Mauer happy with 'normal' offseason
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Twins first baseman Joe Mauer was happy to have a "normal" offseason after dealing with concussion-like symptoms the previous year, MLB.com reports.

"I had a very productive offseason," Mauer said Saturday. "The last couple years I had a lot of things to deal with, especially last year with the concussion. I didn't really get a good base heading into the year. I feel great this year and I hope it stays that way."

Mauer believes that his vigorous stretching exercises this offseason will help keep him healthy in 2015.

"You have to pay attention to your body. I'm getting older," Mauer said. "I'm finding out what works and doesn't work. Trying to make adjustments."

Manager Paul Molitor indicated that he's noticed a difference in Mauer this spring.

"I think it means a lot for him," Molitor said. "I think coming back last year after what had happened the previous season, you always have those questions. He's got friends that have gone through it with Corey Koskie and Justin [Morneau]. We all know how validated our concern is over concussion issues. I'm sure there was a little hesitancy there. Like I said when I had a chance to visit with him this winter, he's excited to be back and not have to be concerned about those type of things."

Mauer endured a down offensive performance last season, hitting .277/.361/.371 with just four home runs in 455 at-bats.


 
 
 
Rankings