Two weeks out from Opening Day, let’s take a look at the progress for those Cleveland Indians fantasy stars
As we draw closer to the end of Spring Training, we are beginning to see more and more of the Cleveland Indians’ Opening a Day roster. This week will be a progress report of those fantasy relevant players I have already outlined here.
Danny Salazar: Sometimes, talent just can’t win out over outside forces. Salazar has been erratic this spring coming in with a 1-2 record and an 8.18 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 11IP. While the strikeouts are there, his command has dropped off and the home runs have seen an uptick. He has been sent down to Triple A Columbus already, hopefully with the directive to get his head on straight and to get a grip on his command. He will be up with the big league club this year, but those hoping for 30 starts and a possible 200 Ks will be woefully disappointed. Feel free to cut him if you’ve drafted him.
Francisco Lindor/Jose Ramirez: A spectacular spring will continue as expected, with Lindor already sent down to the minor league camp. This comes as no surprise, as he was not expected to break Spring Training with the major league club. Lindor has impressed this spring, slashing .297/.308/.595 and providing great defense. He will be up sometime this year, expectedly May. If your league allows a stash player (a NA spot or minor league identification) or you have a deep enough bench to keep Lindor, invest a last round pick and reap the benefits later on. Otherwise, Lindor is undraftable right now.
Ramirez, however, sees an uptick in value knowing that he will have the starting shortstop position come Opening Day. While I wouldn’t expect mixed league value for Ramirez right away, he does offer help in leagues with a MI slot or a deep AL only. He has speed and projects to hit either in the 2nd lineup spot, where he frequented last year, or near the bottom of the lineup.
Mar 8, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcherT.J. House
(58) throws in-between innings against the Texas Rangers during to a spring training baseball game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
T.J. House: House has had a solid spring, sporting a 5.56 ERA with a 15/3 K/BB rate in 17.2 IP. He was the favorite to get a rotation spot in the battle between him and Salazar and, now with Salazar and Tomlin recently demoted to Columbus, he is assured of one. If you are in a deep mixed or AL only league, House could be had very late and could return good value. In auctions, House could see his price go as high as $5 and would hold that value.
McAllister has been fighting for a rotation spot, with a bullpen job as a fallback due to the fact he is out of options on his contract. His spring stats bear stretching him out to start, 15/4 K/BB rate in 14.0 IP and a 3.21 ERA. The possibility of McAllister going to the bullpen remains, though, as Francona has announced he will pitch out of the bullpen until a fifth starter is needed. But he could see value in K/9 leagues or those that have holds regardless of where he pitches.
Call to the Pen
Brandon Moss: All seems well with the imported slugger, recovering from off season hip surgery. In 28 at bats, Moss has 6 XBH, two doubles, one triple and three homers. Moss is set to be in the middle of the lineup from day one and should see his power numbers continue. It remains to be seen whether or not he will play in the field or DH but, for fantasy purposes, just know that Moss will continue to mash. Moss-ter Mash. I like that. Can I trademark that now for the season? Moss is still in the third or fourth tier of OF options coming off the board in drafts, but a 30 HR, 90 RBI season could definitely be in the works for the Indians slugger.
Jason Kipnis: The former All Star second basemen hit his first home run of the spring Saturday, to dead center field at the deepest part of the park. He had been hampered by back soreness and Saturday was only his second game back from sitting out a week’s worth of games. We can safely assume that Kipnis is healthy and will continue to trend upwards in drafts.