Grady is out until opening day with a strained lower back. Grady has played in only 104 games total over the last 2 seasons and is fairly familiar with the being on the DL. Currently, there is no firm time table for his return.
Not a ton was expected out of him this season. Projections have his AVG anywhere between 0.227 to 0.256 with HRs in the low teens. Those numbers seem about right. Also, he is projected to steal between 6 and 8 bases. Those numbers may be on the high side. In 2010 and 2011, he attempted a total of 8 SBs and was only successful 4 times. Last season he was 0 for 2. He no longer has elite speed and is not attempting many stolen bases at all.
A couple of players, one known and the other unknown, should see their fantasy value increase because of Sizemore’s injury. Besides moving over from LF to CF to fill in for Sizemore, Michael Brantley will now be leading off for the Indians. Normally, with Sizemore in the lineup, he batted 2nd or 7th. This move will increase his number of Runs and SBs.
The other player getting an upgrade would be the new LF. Currently the Indians have Aaron Cunningham, Shelley Duncan, Felix Pie and Ryan Spilborghs all contending for the LF opening. Whichever of the 4 wins the job will see additional playing time until Sizemore returns. For owners in deep or AL only leagues, picking up the new LF may be a decent move if the free agent pool is thin.
Scott is supposed to get an MRI on his knee today. Right now he will probably miss up to the first couple of weeks of the season. While not a fantasy star, he does have nice value as a Plug-n-Play guy with 2B (18 games) and 3B qualifications in some leagues.
Chase has degenerative patellar tendinitis or Jumper’s Knee. It hampers every move he makes and it is not going away. I would just stay away from him completely on draft day. There are plently of young healthy 2B in the league that project to have similar stats. His only value is as a late round flyer and someone will take him before that point in the draft.
Chris is supposed to be out 4-6 weeks with a strained left side muscle. The team is not expecting him to miss much time at the start the season.
Vinnie Pestano will be the closer if Perez is not ready to start the season (Dan Wade will be covering these 2 pitchers in more detail at Rotographs on Tuesday). Pestano should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues. He is projected to be the better pitcher according to ZiPS:
Name, K/9, BB/9, WHIP, ERA
Perez, 8.2, 4.1, 1.31, 3.79
Pestano, 10.0, 3.7, 1.05 , 3.38
There is a reasonable chance that by the end of the season, even with Perez 100% healthy, Pestano will be the closer.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.