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
2015 Draft Prep Guide
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
Mike Fiers' Astros debut comes in relief effort Monday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:30 am ET) Mike Fiers had to make his Astros debut a day earlier than expected, as he pitched in relief Monday against the Rangers after starter Lance McCullers failed to make it out of the first inning.

While Fiers gave the Astros five innings in the 12-9 loss, he allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks. He had six strikeouts.

"I was happy that Fiers came in and was able to get through the majority of that game by saving some of our bullpen pieces to live to start another day," manager A.J. Hinch said, per MLB.com.

Dan Straily will be promoted from the minors to start Tuesday's game in place of Fiers.


Angels RP Huston Street picks up save Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:28 am ET) Angels pitcher Huston Street recorded the final three outs of Monday's 5-4 win over the Indians to earn his 26th save of the season.

Street allowed one hit and struck out one during the appearance. He has converted 26 of his 29 save opportunities this season.


Mariners send RP Jose Ramirez to Triple-A on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:28 am ET) The Mariners optioned reliever Jose Ramirez to Triple-A Tacoma following Monday's 8-7 win over the Rockies. Ramirez, who was acquired from the Yankees for Dustin Ackley, has not yet pitched for his new club. 

But the Mariners will opt to send him down and call up a fresh arm for the bullpen. Although, the corresponding move won't be announced until Tuesday. 


Astros' Luis Valbuena slugs 20th home run in loss on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:23 am ET) Astros infielder Luis Valbuena has recorded his first career 20-home run season, as he went 2 for 3 with a solo shot in Monday's 12-9 loss to the Rangers.

Valbuena's blast was his 20th of the year, but it also broke a 23-game homerless drought. Even with the two-hit effort, Valbuena is still batting a low .206 on the year.


Indians SP Corey Kluber gives up 10 hits in Monday's loss
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:21 am ET) Indians pitcher Corey Kluber was not sharp during Monday's 5-4 loss to the Angels.

Kluber allowed five runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He also struck out four and did not walk a batter. His biggest mistake came in the sixth inning when he gave up a two-run home run to Conor Gillaspie.

Kluber is now 6-12 with a 3.60 ERA, but he has earned a quality start in six of his last eight outings.


Angels SP Garrett Richards fans 11 in Monday's win
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:15 am ET) Angels pitcher Garrett Richards struck out a season-high 11 batters during Monday's 5-4 win over the Indians.

Richards allowed four runs on four hits over 7 1/3 innings. He also walked three. His biggest mistake was giving up a two-run home to Yan Gomes in the first inning.

He received his 11th win of the season for his effort to break his two-game losing streak. Richards has earned a quality start in two of his last four outings.


Orioles' Chris Davis continues power surge with HR on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:11 am ET) Orioles slugger Chris Davis got his team off to a good start on Monday, as he crushed a three-run home run with one out in the first inning, en route to a 9-2 win over the A's. Davis' home run was his 27th of the year, surpassing his total of 26 from a season ago.

It was the only hit of the night for Davis, who is batting .276 with five homers and 15 RBI over his past eight games.


A's SP Jesse Chavez gets blasted by Orioles on Monday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:08 am ET) Athletics starter Jesse Chavez was hit early and often in his outing against the Orioles on Monday. The right-hander allowed six runs on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. He threw 46 of 77 pitches for strikes, as the A's lost 9-2 on Monday.

Chavez (5-11) got off to a rocky start in this one, as he was down 3-0 before getting a chance to settle in. He gave up a three-run home run to Chris Davis in the very first inning. Caleb Joseph also touched up Chavez for a two-run blast in the fourth inning, as Chavez suffered his worst start of the season.

With the poor outing, Chavez's ERA rose to 3.88. He has now given up four or more runs in four of his past six starts, posting a 6.52 ERA over that stretch.


D-Backs SP Chase Anderson may make one more rehab start
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:08 am ET) After throwing four innings during a rehab outing in the minors Sunday, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said pitcher Chase Anderson may need another rehab start before returning to the team, reports The Arizona Republic.

Anderson was expected to replace Zack Godley in the rotation, but Hale said he is considering using a six-man rotation.

"That would help that, just get guys extra days," Hale said. "With [Patrick Corbin] coming back from Tommy John and all our young guys starting to pile up the innings. But it's tough to do that with still keeping seven bullpen guys. We would probably have to lose a position player. That's a very tough decision to make."


Orioles' Tyler Wilson posts strong start on Monday vs. A's
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:02 am ET) Orioles starter Tyler Wilson was excellent in his outing against the A's on Monday. The right-hander threw 100 pitches over 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out three, and did a good job of limiting the damage against him in the 9-2 victory.

Wilson (2-1) was making just his second start of the year for the Orioles. He made some relief appearances in between the starts, but was sent down to Triple-A on June 20. 

He gave up a run in the fourth and one on the eighth before being pulled from the game. His ERA actually rose to 2.19 ERA in the strong outing. 


 
 
 
Rankings