Description: Indians first baseman Nick Swisher, who has a good history against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer will not get a chance to hit against him. He's out of the lineup due to family reasons
Insight: Swisher's .875 OPS is the highest of his career. He's helped lead the resurgent Cleveland offense, now ranked No. 2 in all of baseball at 5.07 runs-per-game, batting .313 over the past 13 games. They face the highest scoring team, Detroit, in a huge AL Central division series beginning on Tuesday, but without Swisher.
Description: Indians righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka has dealt with an oblique injury and wildness (18 walks in 20 2/3 innings pitched at Triple-A Columbus).
Insight: Cleveland starting rotation is strong at the top with Justin Masterson and a rejuvenated Ubaldo Jimenez, but their 4.21 runs-per-game allowed is only average. If Matsuzaka could ever regain his control, there might be a spot for him at the end of the rotation.
Description: Cleveland slugger Mark Reynolds has struggled against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer, going 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in their matchups.
Insight: Reynolds' average has started to fall as his strikeouts (45 in 42 games) have piled up, but the first baseman still has 12 homers and 37 RBI in 146 at-bats. Facing Scherzer is likely to continue his drive toward another "strikeout title."
Description: Indians first baseman Nick Swisher is 5-for-10 versus Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer with a 1.415 OPS.
Insight: Swisher's .875 OPS is the highest of his career. He's helped lead the resurgent Cleveland offense, now ranked No. 2 in all of baseball at 5.07 runs-per-game, batting .313 over the past 13 games. They face the highest scoring team, Detroit, in a huge AL Central division series beginning on Tuesday.
Description: Indians first baseman Nick Swisher is hitting .273 with four homers and a .965 OPS in May, but he'll face Felix Hernandez Sunday. He's just 10-for-48 (.208) with 11 strikeouts against the Mariners right-hander, though he does have four homers against him.
Insight: Swisher is batting .250 with an .809 OPS against righties this year, compared to .300 with a .955 OPS against lefties. Plus, he is just 10-for-56 (.179) in day games. All signs point to this being a tough day for the Indians first baseman.
Description: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is batting .288 with five doubles, two triples, six homers, 17 RBI, 15 runs and three steals over his last 16 games.
Insight: Kipnis has displayed 15-20 homer power in his career (including minors), and he stole 31 bags a season ago, so he obviously has fantasy value. But he strikes out a lot and doesn't hit for a high average.
Description: Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena is questionable for Monday's game against Colorado with a bruised right pinky finger.
Insight: Valbuena is hitting well over his career average, batting .272 with five homers, 13 RBI and an .874 OPS. Considering he's a career .228 hitter/.656 OPS, fantasy owners should not be fooled by his early quick start.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is a career .159 hitter (7-for-44) against Tigers starter Justin Verlander with 19 strikeouts and a .411 OPS.
Insight: Cabrera struggled through April and he continues to carry a low batting average, though he's begun to hit with more power (six extra base hits in nine May games). This matchup isn't likely to help his statistics.
Description: With a doubleheader coming up Monday against the Yankees, the Indians will recall Trevor Bauer to start the second game, according to Nick Camino of Newsradio WTAM 1100.
Insight: Bauer has made two spot starts this season and has allowed two hits and three earned runs in 10 innings but also has walked 13 batters. He has a 31/10 K/BB and a 2.55 ERA in 24 2/3 innings with Triple-A Columbus this season.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana is just a .100 hitter (2-for-20) versus Detroit starter Max Scherzer.
Insight: The Indians gave Santana Thursday off, but it probably would have been a better idea to give him Friday off. Santana (.358, 7 HR, 15 RBI) is one of the league's top-hitting catchers, but this is an unfavorable matchup.
Description: Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir struck out 10 batters and walked none over six innings of one-run ball Thursday against the Athletics.
Insight: That's an eye-opener for fantasy owners. Kazmir has never had great control, but he could barely throw the ball over the plate in 2010, when he walked 79 batters and had a 5.94 ERA in 150 innings. That was his last full season in the big leagues. He should be picked up in deeper mixed leagues after his latest start.
Description: Indians 1B/RF Nick Swisher is a .500 career hitter against A's starter Bartolo Colon.
Insight: Luckily for Swisher, that's who is going to be pitching today for Oakland. Swisher (.255) is beginning to heat up with two homers in his last five games. He had just two in 24 games prior to his recent power surge.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson fired seven innings and allowed four hits and three runs, walked two and struck out seven Wednesday against the Athletics to improve his record to 5-2.
Insight: Masterson allowed 17 hits and 12 earned runs and walked six batters over his last 13 innings, but otherwise has been pretty effective this year. He has a 3.67 ERA, a 3.28 FIP and a 73.8 LOB%, and has increased his K/9 from 6.94 to 8.50 since last year.
Description: Indians starter Zach McAllister held the Athletics scoreless on five hits over 7 2/3 innings Tuesday.
Insight: McAllister is 3-3 with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He's walked 10 batters in 37 2/3 innings, but five of those came in one start. The right-hander hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his six starts this year.
Description: Cleveland starter Brett Myers (elbow) has been playing long toss and is hoping to be back on the mound in a week. SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: Myers was placed on the DL on April 21 with a mild tear of his UCL. He's trying to pitch through it, but as we saw with Chad Billingsley, rehab usually doesn't work in the long run with that type of injury.
Description: Indians center fielder Michael Bourn (finger) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus Monday, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Insight: Bourn suffered a lacerated right index finger on April 14 when he slid headfirst into first base and was stepped on by White Sox pitcher Matt Thornton. He was eligible to come off the DL last Tuesday, but was still feeling pain when gripping a bat and throwing the ball.
Description: Indians lefty Scott Kazmir struck out seven batters and allowed five hits and two runs in six innings Saturday versus the Twins to pick up his first win since 2010.
Insight: Kazmir hasn't been relevant in fantasy leagues since 2008, and he didn't pitch in the big leagues last year. He's worth an add in AL-only leagues for his strikeout potential, but he isn't a good option in mixed leagues.
Description: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis went 3-for-4 with a triple, a homer and two RBI Saturday against the Twins.
Insight: Kipnis batted .125 in his first eight games and missed more than a week due to an elbow injury, but he's batting .294 with two triples, two homers, eight runs and six steals since returning to action 12 games ago.
Description: Cleveland first baseman Nick Swisher hasn't played since April 29, but is probable for Saturday's game against Minnesota. He's been dealing with a sore shoulder.
Insight: We're still waiting for the power display that we know he has in him. He's batting .265 this season with a pair of homers and nine RBI, but he's averaged almost 26 home runs a season over the past eight years.
Description: Cleveland sent Trevor Bauer down to Triple-A after his start Wednesday against the Twins.
Insight: Aside from the six walks he allowed, Bauer actually pitched pretty well on Wednesday (5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 K's). The young righthander will probably spend most of the season bouncing between Cleveland and Triple-A Columbus.
Description: Cleveland utility player Ryan Raburn went off for four hits Wednesday in a 6-0 win over Philadelphia.
Insight: Raburn has 11 hits in his last three games. His batting average has gone up by 150 points over that span. Injuries to Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn have allowed Raburn to see regular at bats, though both players are expected to return soon.
Description: Indians starter Zach McAllister went seven innings, walked one and allowed five hits and two runs in a win over Philadelphia Tuesday night.
Insight: McAllister is 2-3 with a 3.30 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP, but home runs could prove to be a problem for the right-hander. He allowed 19 in 125 1/3 innings last year and has given up four over his last three starts.
Description: Indians second baseman Ryan Raburn is 7-for-8 with four homers and seven RBI over the last two games.
Insight: Raburn has been getting more playing time with center fielder Michael Bourn on the DL, but he had not done anything of worth for fantasy owners until going 4-for-4 with two homers and four RBI last night. He had two more homers, three hits and three RBI Tuesday against the Phillies. Bourn will return sometime this week, but we could see Raburn split some at-bats with Drew Stubbs in right field or Jason Kipnis at second base while he is hot.
Description: Indians center fielder Michael Bourn (finger) will play in a couple minor league rehab games before returning to action. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: Bourn is eligible to return from the DL today, but he has been experiencing pain when he grips a bat or throws a ball. Bourn suffered a lacerated right index finger on April 14 when he slid headfirst into first base and was stepped on by White Sox pitcher Matt Thornton.
Description: Indians second baseman Ryan Raburn went 4-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs Monday against the Royals.
Insight: Raburn has been getting more playing time with center fielder Michael Bourn on the DL, but these were his first two homers of the season. He has managed to pick up 15 strikeouts in 46 at-bats, however.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana is just 2-for-11 (.182) against Royals starter Ervin Santana.
Insight: Santana (.352, 4 HR, 9 RBI) was dealing with flu-like symptoms earlier in the week and missed Wednesday's game and this poor matchup could be a nice reason to get Lou Marson a start behind the plate.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (quad) has not played since Monday due to a right quad injury and is questionable for Friday's game against Kansas City.
Insight: Cabrera is batting just .156 and all the injuries (he also is dealing with a sore wrist) aren't going to make it easy for him to bounce back. If you have a viable backup shortstop, it would be wise to use him.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (wrist) is not in Sunday's lineup due to a bruised left wrist.
Insight: Cabrera slipped down the dugout steps about 10 minutes before Saturday's game and suffered the injury, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cabrera left the game after two at-bats. He's considered day-to-day after X-rays came back negative.
Description: Indians lefty Scott Kazmir (abdominal strain) allowed seven hits, three walks, two homers and six runs in 3 1/3 innings Saturday against Houston. It was his first appearance since 2011.
Insight: Kazmir had a strong spring to win the fifth spot in the rotation but suffered an abdominal strain at the beginning of April. The left-hander's start Saturday is doubly disappointing since he was given 18 runs of offense in the first four innings. Kazmir hasn't been a useful starter since 2010, so he has to prove he can still pitch before fantasy owners jump on board.
Description: Cleveland 1B Mark Reynolds has six homers and 17 RBIs in 54 at-bats.
Insight: He's also batting .296 and has walked seven times. Of course, he also has struck out 14 times. We know he can hit the longball, but he'll have to keep his average at a respectable level to be a reliable fantasy option.
Description: Indians DH Jason Giambi went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, five RBIs and three runs Saturday against the Astros.
Insight: Giambi has only played four games this year and really serves as a pinch-hitter and another coach on the bench for manager Terry Francona. Best case scenario is that he duplicates his 2011 numbers -- .260, 13 HR, 32 RBI, .958 OPS (with Colorado).
Description: Cleveland starter Brett Myers will have an MRI on his right forearm Sunday, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Myers left Friday's start after five innings due to forearm soreness.
Insight: Forearm soreness can sometimes be indicative of an elbow issue. The MRI should give us more information.
Description: Cleveland center fielder Michael Bourn has officially been moved to the disabled list. He won't be able to play until he has stitches removed from his right finger.
Insight: We already knew this was coming so it's just a formality. The move is backdated to April 15th, meaning that Bourn will be eligible to return on April 30th. He should be fully recovered well before that date.
Description: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is expected to return from an elbow injury Friday night in Houston. SOURCE: Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
Insight: Kipnis has been a disaster this season, collecting just four hits over his first 32 at bats. Even his elite speed (31 steals in 2012) hasn't been evident up to this point. Fantasy owners shouldn't be in any rush to put him back in the lineup.
Description: Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez was tagged for seven runs on just two hits in 1 2/3 innings Tuesday against Boston.
Insight: Jimenez walked five batters and gave up all seven runs in the second inning. The right-hander has allowed 12 hits, 10 walks and 15 earned runs in 12 innings this season and should not be owned in any leagues.
Description: Indians center fielder Michael Bourn (hand) will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Insight: White Sox reliever Matt Thornton stepped on Bourn's hand when Bourn slid into first base Sunday. He needed five stitches in his right hand and cannot play until he has them removed. We expect him to be ready to return when he's first eligible.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana (thumb) will return to the lineup Tuesday against Boston.
Insight: Santana hasn't started since April 8 due to a left thumb contusion, but he drew a walk in a pinch-hit appearance Sunday. He's catching and batting third, so it looks like his thumb is close to 100 percent.
Description: Cleveland starter Brett Myers dropped Sunday's game to the White Sox but he was in six innings of work. Myers gave up six hits, one walk, a homer and two earned while striking out four.
Insight: He was starting for the first time since giving up four homers and seven runs in five innings at Toronto on April 4. Myers relieved Carlos Carrasco after the latter had been ejected Tuesday against the Yankees and allowed 11 hits, three homers and seven earned in 5 1/3 innings.
Description: Indians center fielder Michael Bourn needed five stitched in his right index finger Sunday after getting stepped on by White Sox reliever Matt Thornton, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Insight: The injury occurred when Bourn slid head-first into first base. He won't be able to play again until he has the stitches removed, which could be in 5-7 days.
Description: Indians second baseman Ryan Raburn only has two hits in nine lifetime at bats against Jake Peavy. Fortunately for Raburn, both of them were home runs.
Insight: One was a three-run shot while the other was a grand slam. Jason Kipnis has been out with an elbow injury so Raburn will get the start at second base on Sunday. If there was ever a day to start Raburn in fantasy, this would be it.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana suffered a setback at batting practice on Saturday and won't be in the lineup Sunday against the White Sox.
Insight: Santana has been bothered by a thumb injury for most of the last week and will now miss his fourth game in a row. Yan Gomes' fantasy appeal is minimal but he should be the starting catcher for Cleveland until Santana is ready to return.
Description: Indians DH/1B Mark Reynolds belted a grand slam Saturday in a win over Chicago.
Insight: Reynolds finished the afternoon with two hits, five RBI and a stolen base. The grand slam was his fifth home run of the season. That's good for third-best in the American League behind Seattle outfielder Mike Morse and Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis (six each).
Description: Carlos Santana won't suit up for the Indians on Saturday. He's still battling a sore thumb. SOURCE: Cleveland Indians on Twitter
Insight: Santana was listed in the lineup earlier in the day but the Indians have since released a revised lineup card with Yan Gomes starting at catcher and Santana getting the afternoon off. Apparently he tweaked something during batting practice. It could be a few more days before we see Santana back behind the plate.
Description: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is not in the lineup for Saturday's game with the White Sox due to a sore left elbow.
Insight: Kipnis is off to a horrible start, batting .125 with just one run scored, zero homers and two RBI. Expectations are high for the Cleveland second baseman after he posted 14 HR, 76 RBI and 31 stolen bases last year.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana (thumb) could return to the field on Saturday and is listed as questionable after catching a bullpen session and taking batting practice.
Insight: He suffered a left thumb injury Monday but X-rays came back negative. Santana told manager Terry Francona that he could play Friday, but the team kept him out another game. He is batting .500 (13-for-26) with two homers, five RBIs and four walks this season.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson threw a complete-game shutout Friday against the White Sox. He allowed five hits and one walk and struck out seven.
Insight: Cleveland also was shut out for eight innings, but it scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to get Masterson his third win in as many starts. He has a 20/8 K/BB and has allowed just 10 hits and one earned run in 22 innings this season.
Description: Indians lefty Scott Kazmir (abdominal strain) could be activated April 20 if he continues to progress well, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Insight: That's the next date Cleveland will need a fifth starter. Kazmir had a strong spring to win the job but suffered an abdominal strain at the beginning of this month and had to be placed on the DL.
Description: Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco has been handed an eight-game suspension for hitting Kevin Youkilis during Tuesday's game, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times.
Insight: Carrasco was making his first start following a six-game suspension for the same thing. The first suspension was actually assessed back in 2011, but Carrasco suffered an elbow injury and never served it. He has been demoted to the minors, so his suspension won't start until he returns to the big league club.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana (thumb) could return to games as early as Saturday. SOURCE: Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
Insight: He suffered a left thumb injury Monday but X-rays came back negative. Santana caught a bullpen session and hit in the cage Thursday afternoon and told manager Terry Francona that he could play Friday, but the team will keep him out another game. He is batting .500 (13-for-26) with two homers, five RBIs and four walks this season.
Description: Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez will have his next start pushed back to Tuesday after the Indians had two straight rainouts.
Insight: Jimenez was hit hard and allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings Monday against the Yankees, and he'll have more than a week of rest in between starts. The right-hander hasn't been able to adjust to declining velocity over the past two years.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana (thumb) told manager Terry Francona that he could play Friday, but he is likely to get a couple more days off. SOURCE: Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
Insight: Santana caught a bullpen session and hit in the cage Thursday afternoon. He suffered a left thumb injury Monday but X-rays came back negative. He is batting .500 (13-for-26) with two homers, five RBIs and four walks this season.
Description: Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco has been demoted to the minors after allowing seven earned over 3 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Yankees. Carrasco was ejected for throwing at Kevin Youkilis.
Insight: Carrasco just finished serving a six-game suspension that was handed out in 2011, prior to his elbow injury, for the same reason. Another suspension could be headed his way. The right-hander was throwing 95-97 mph during the game but the team had no choice but to punish him. If Scott Kazmir isn't ready to pitch, we could see Trevor Bauer get recalled.
Description: Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco was ejected from Tuesday's game for hitting Kevin Youkilis following a home run by Robinson Cano.
Insight: Carrasco just finished serving a six-game suspension that was handed out in 2011, prior to his elbow injury, for the same reason. Another suspension could be headed his way. The right-hander was throwing 95-97 mph during the game but he allowed seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Description: The Indians turned to Wednesday's scheduled starter Brett Myers to pitch after Carlos Carrasco was ejected Tuesday night for hitting Kevin Youkilis.
Insight: Myers allowed four homers, seven hits and seven runs over five innings in his first start of the season. The team will have to look for another starter for Wednesday's game against the Yankees.
Description: Indians' shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is hitless in seven career at-bats against Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.
Insight: Cabrera slipped from 25/17/87 (HR/SB/R) to 16/9/70 last season despite playing just eight fewer games than 2011 and the early numbers for 2013 aren't looking any better. He's batting just .083 with a .435 OPS through the first six games. Avoid him on Monday.
Description: Cleveland righthander Justin Masterson fired seven shutout innings Sunday in a win against Tampa Bay.
Insight: Masterson is off to a great start. In 13 innings this season, he's allowed just five hits and one earned run, striking out 13 with seven walks. Last season Masterson carried a 5.40 ERA in April so this represents a major improvement.
Description: Cleveland DH Mark Reynolds went deep twice Sunday in a win over the Rays.
Insight: Reynolds has swatted a homer in three out of his last four games and he's actually done it while carrying a very respectable .300 batting average. Despite his early season success, Reynolds continues to be a liability in fantasy leagues that deduct points for strikeouts (six punchouts in 20 at bats this season).
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana delivered five hits Sunday in a 13-0 demolition of Tampa Bay.
Insight: Consider it an early birthday present from the Rays' pitching staff (Santana turns 27 on Monday). Santana is now hitting .500 for the season with just one strikeout in 26 plate appearances. He's played all six games for Clevleand this season so we'd expect him to get a day of rest sometime in the next couple of days.
Description: Indians DH Mark Reynolds is 3-for-22 with eight strikeouts against Rays starter David Price, though he does have two home runs against him.
Insight: Reynolds is 3-for-16 with five strikeouts and two home runs in four games this season. If you own him, you know not to expect a high average, and if you play him Sunday, you're gambling that he'll connect for a home run because he likely won't make much contact against Price.
Description: The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price stymies plenty of hitters, but Indians outfielder Nick Swisher is not one of them.
Insight: Swisher, who is 4-for-17 with five walks this season, has tagged Price for 12 hits in 34 at-bats (.353) and also has walked 10 times. He clearly sees the ball well against the Tampa Bay lefty.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs Thursday against Toronto.
Insight: Santana has six hits in 13 at-bats so far, picking up where he left off last season, when he hit .281 with 13 homers and an .887 OPS following the All-Star break (.221, 5 HR, .675 OPS before).
Description: The Indians have named Trevor Bauer as the starter for Saturday's game against the Rays.
Insight: Bauer will take the spot of Scott Kazmir, who was placed on the DL Thursday with an abdominal injury. Bauer didn't show much during spring training (6.06 ERA) after disappointing as a rookie and he is not guaranteed another start after this Saturday. However, he has plenty of upside and should be monitored in all leagues.
Description: MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports that Trevor Bauer could take Scott Kazmir's spot in the rotation while he's out with a strained abdomen.
Insight: Bauer might start Saturday against Tampa Bay. Bauer didn't show much during spring training (6.06 ERA) so we're not optimistic about his chances of becoming a legitimate fanasy contributor this season.
Description: Indians left fielder Michael Brantley collected four hits in his five at bats Wednesday against Toronto.
Insight: All four of the hits were singles, which isn't surprising considering Brantley has never hit more than seven home runs in a single season. And herein lies the problem with Brantley: he's a good hitter for average but he won't drive in runs. Some players can offset a lack power by delivering tons of stolen bases but that isn't the case with Brantley (just 12 steals a season ago). If this trend continues, Brantley will never be anything more than an average fantasy player.
Description: Indians newly acquired OF/1B Nick Swisher is just a .160 hitter (4-for-25) against Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow with eight strikeouts.
Insight: Swisher (.272, 24 HR, 93 RBI in 2012 with the Yankees) was brought to Cleveland to provide power in the middle of the lineup. He went 0-for-4 in the opener and this matchup doesn't bode well for him getting off to a fast start.
Description: Indians closer Chris Perez, who dealt with a shoulder strain this spring, notched his first save of the season Tuesday against Toronto.
Insight: Perez was shut down for most of the spring but he has put the discomfort behind him. The closer came into the exact situation in the 2012 season opener -- a 4-1 lead against Toronto -- but he gave up three runs in a game that the Indians ended up losing in 16 innings. This is a markedly better beginning to his season.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera blasted a two-run homer and drew a walk Tuesday in Cleveland's Opening Day win over Toronto.
Insight: Cabrera slipped from 25/17/87 (HR/SB/R) to 16/9/70 last season despite playing just eight fewer games than 2011. However, he improved his BB, K and line drive percentages last season and remains a top-10 option at a shallow position.
Description: Indians starter Justin Masterson flirted with danger but he ended up working out of several jams to hold Toronto to one run in six innings in the season opener Tuesday. He walked four and allowed three hits.
Insight: Masterson posted a 4.93 ERA last season as his BB/9 went from 2.71 to 3.85 and his strand rate went from 72.9 percent to 66.4 percent from 2011 to 2012. Right now, his 2011 season -- 3.21 ERA, 3.28 FIP -- is the aberration for his career.
Description: Indians lefty Scott Kazmir (abdominal strain) will try to throw a bullpen session Wednesday, at which point the team will determine if he needs to go on the DL. SOURCE: Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: Kazmir suffered a strained abdominal muscle during a workout Monday, putting his availability for Saturday's start in question.
Description: Indians' outfielder Drew Stubbs rarely gets the bat on the ball against Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. He's 1-for-9 in his career, a single, with seven strikeouts.
Insight: Stubbs hit a career-low .213 with a .610 OPS last season with Cincinnati, before being included in a three-team trade. Stubbs has 20-40 potential if he can ever develop any consistency at the plate, but it isn't likely to start on Tuesday. Sit him.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (back) said he will be fine for Opening Day after missing the last few days with tightness in his back. SOURCE: Nick Camino, Newsradio WTAM 1100
Insight: Cabrera slipped from 25/17/87 (HR/SB/R) to 16/9/70 last season despite playing just eight fewer games than 2011. However, he improved his BB, K and line drive percentages last season and remains a top-10 option at a shallow position.
Description: Carlos Carrasco did not win a rotation spot but he will be on Cleveland's Opening Day roster so that he can finally serve his six-game suspension.
Insight: The suspension was actually handed out late in the 2011 season but Carrasco hurt his elbow shortly after that and never got a chance to serve it. Once the suspension is over, Carrasco will report to the Indians' Triple-A affiliate in Columbus.
Description: The Indians cut righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Sunday.
Insight: Cleveland would have had to pay Matsuzaka an extra $100,000 if he had still been on the roster past Sunday. Scott Miller of CBS Sports expects Matsuzaka to sign another deal with the Indians later this week. When he does, he'll be expected to report to Triple-A Columbus.
Description: According to Nick Camino of Newsradio WTAM 1100, Indians manager Terry Francona said Thursday that he'll either go with Scott Kazmir or Carlos Carrasco for the final spot in Cleveland's rotation.
Insight: Kazmir has posted a 5.54 ERA and 210/141 K/BB ratio over 299 innings since 2009, and he missed most of 2011 and all of 2012. However, he hasn't allowed a run this spring in eight innings (8 K, 1 BB, 5 H) and appears to be fully healthy.
Description: Cleveland righthander Trevor Bauer has been demoted to the minor leagues.
Insight: He'll open the season with Triple-A Columbus. Bauer (1-2, 6.06 ERA for Arizona in 2012) has been so-so this spring, producing a 4.50 ERA over five appearances. He'll probably return to the majors at some point later this season but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll have fantasy relevance.
Description: Indians closer Chris Perez (shoulder) could progress to throwing off a mound as early as Saturday, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Insight: Perez has a strained muscle in his right shoulder and has been shut down since the beginning of the month. He can still be ready for Opening Day, but he'll have to avoid setbacks and progress quickly. Vinnie Pestano is the next man up in Cleveland's 'pen.
Description: Indians closer Chris Perez (shoulder) has started doing some light tossing, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Insight: Perez has a strained muscle in his right shoulder and has been shut down for the last nine days. He can still be ready for Opening Day, but he'll have to avoid setbacks and progress quickly. Vinnie Pestano is the next man up in Cleveland's 'pen.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley will have the stitches removed from his left forearm in the next two days, according to Indians.com.
Insight: Brantley was spiked on Feb. 25 and had to get his forearm patched up. He should be fine for Opening Day. The outfielder has some power and some speed but not enough to be a season-long option outside of AL-only formats.
Description: Cleveland back up second baseman Ryan Raburn has been the hottest hitter in the majors so far this spring, hitting four homers with a .600 batting average and a 2.067 OPS in 15 at-bats.
Insight: Raburn is simply fighting for a roster spot, he's not likely to see enough action on the field to be of value to fantasy owners unless Jason Kipnis goes down with a long-term injury. Keep in mind that Raburn also pounded the ball last spring (6 HR, 19 RBI in 21 games) and then fell apart as the Tigers starting second baseman.
Description: Scott Kazmir has four strikeouts and no walks over four scoreless innings this spring. He's attempting to make a comeback with the Indians.
Insight: Kazmir last played in 2011, but he only threw 1 2/3 innings that season and gave up five runs. In his last full season, he started 28 games and had a 5.94 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 150 innings. He was last relevant in fantasy leagues in 2008 and it will probably stay that way this year despite his early success.
Description: Indians closer Chris Perez is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a right shoulder injury.
Insight: Perez was 0-4 last season with 39 saves, a 3.59 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He'll be shut down for a week to 10 days and miss the WBC. Vinnie Pestano should get a shot at the closer's role while Perez is sidelined.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (11-15, 4.93 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) will be the Opening Day starter for the Indians, according to the team's website.
Insight: This is not particularly good news for Masterson's fantasy owners as he'll be matched up with the opponent's "ace" more often. His ERA and WHIP need to drop significantly this season for him to be a viable fantasy asset.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley needed stiches in his left arm Monday after getting spiked in an exhibition game against Oakland.
Insight: Brantley probably won't play Tuesday against the Royals but it shouldn't be long before he's back in the lineup. At age 25, Brantley (.288, 6 HR, 60 RBI, 12 SB last season) could be poised for a breakout season in 2013.
Description: Indians newly acquired OF/1B Nick Swisher will miss some practice time while attending his mother's funeral.
Insight: Swisher, who recently signed a four-year, $56 million pact with Cleveland expecting to be the team's right fielder, could move to first base with the late addition of center fielder Michael Bourn. Swisher (.272, 24 HR, 93 RBI) was also eligible at two positions last season with the Yankees.
Description: Indians outfielder Drew Stubbs spent the winter working on his approach at the plate. He ditched his leg kick in favor of a toe tap in hopes that he can cut down on his strikeouts. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: Detroit outfielder Austin Jackson made a similar change last season and raised his average for .249 to .300 while cutting down on strikeouts. Stubbs hit a career-low .213 with a .610 OPS last season with Cincinnati before being included in a three-team trade that saw Shin-Soo Choo go to the Reds. Stubbs has 20-40 potential if he can ever develop any consistency at the plate.
Description: The wait for Michael Bourn is finally over. After four months of unemployment, Bourn has agreed to a four-year, $48 million pact with the Indians.
Insight: Many teams were hesitant to sign Bourn because it would mean giving up a draft pick. Bourn joins a Cleveland outfield that already includes Michael Brantley, Drew Stubbs and Nick Swisher. Bourn (.274, 9 HR, 57 RBI, 42 SB) will likely start in center field with Swisher (.272, 24 HR, 93 RBI) moving to a full-time DH role.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera reported to camp Wednesday and according to manager Terry Francona "looks great." SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: Cabrera has had weight issues the last two springs. The shortstop has experienced a sharp decline in numbers in the second half of 2011 and 2012, which could have something to do with poor conditioning catching up to him. Shortstop, as usual, projects as a weak fantasy position and owners would benefit greatly from a bounce-back season from Cabrera.
Description: The Indians have reached an agreement with infielder Mike Aviles on a new two-year, $6 million contract.
Insight: Aviles had been eligible for arbitration but it never came to that. He had his moments last year with the Red Sox, producing 13 homers and a .250 average in 136 games. Aviles should find his way onto many fantasy rosters next season thanks to his positional flexibility (eligible at shortstop, second base and third).
Description: Former Nationals and Twins reliever Matt Capps inked a minor league contract with the Indians on Thursday.
Insight: Injuries limited Capps to just 29 1/3 innings in 2012. If he stays healthy, Capps (3.52 ERA in 444 career games) has a good chance to crack the Tribe's Opening Day roster. As a middle reliever, he won't have much fantasy value.
Description: WEEI's Rob Bradford hears that the Yankees could be closing in on a deal for veteran DH Travis Hafner.
Insight: The plan was for Kevin Youkilis to move into the DH role once Alex Rodriguez returns from hip surgery. Now that A-Rod might miss the whole season, Youk could be forced to play third base all year, meaning that the Bombers need a DH. Hafner's swing is tailor-made for the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium. The only question is whether or not he can stay healthy (missed 96 games due to injury in 2012).
Description: Indians GM Chris Antonetti said Friday that Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers have the top three spots in the rotation locked up entering spring training and that Zach McAllister has a "leg up" on the fourth spot. SOURCE: Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: McAllister went 6-8 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 22 starts last season. Former Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospect Trevor Bauer will battle Carlos Carrasco (fresh off Tommy John surgery) and David Huff for the No. 5 spot. Corey Kluber is a long shot after going 2-5 with a 5.14 ERA in 12 starts last year.
Description: The Indians have reportedly signed right-hander Brett Myers to a one-year deal with a club option for 2014. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: Myers saved 19 games with a 3.52 ERA for the Astros last season before being traded to the White Sox prior to the trade deadline. He threw 34 2/3 innings for Chicago, registering a 3.12 ERA. Myers will likely slide into the starting rotation for Cleveland, but he'll have to pitch closer to 2010 -- 14-8, 3.14 ERA -- than 2011 -- 7-14, 4.46 ERA -- if he's going to be a fantasy option. With Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Trevor Bauer locked into the top three spots in the Indians' rotation and Myers presumably taking the fourth, Carlos Carrasco, Zach McAllister and David Huff will likely compete for the fifth spot.
Description: New Indians outfielder Nick Swisher has declined the opportunity to play for Team Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. SOURCE: Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
Insight: Swisher recently signed a four-year, $56 million pact with Cleveland after spending four seasons with the New York Yankees. Even though he'll play half his games at pitcher friendly Progressive Field instead of taking aim at the short right-field porch in Yankee Stadium, there's no reason to believe Swisher won't reach 20 homers for the ninth straight season.
Description: Lefthander Scott Kazmir has signed a minor league deal with the Indians.
Insight: Kazmir will have a hard enough time making the majors leagues, let alone playing well enough to warrant any fantasy consideration. Kazmir hasn't been productive since 2008 when he won 12 games with a 3.49 ERA in 27 starts for the Rays.
Description: Kevin Burkhardt of SNY reports that the Mets are looking at free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore.
Insight: Sizemore could have had a great career if he had just stayed healthy. Unfortunately he didn't and at age 30, it'd be silly for the Mets to offer the underachieving Sizemore anything more than a minor league contract. Sizemore missed the entire 2012 campaign while recovering from knee surgery.
Description: Righthander Roberto Hernandez is close to signing with the Rays according to Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Hernandez didn't show us much last season (0-3, 7.53 ERA), but then again it was a turbulent season for the righthander. Now that he's not being detained by authorities in the Dominican Republic for using a fraudulent name (Fausto Carmona), things should be much more normal for Hernandez in 2013. We're not expecting him to return to the level that made him a Cy Young candidate in 2007 (19-8, 3.06 ERA) but there's still some potential here.
Description: The Reds have traded outfielder Drew Stubbs to the Indians as part of a three-team trade. Cincinnati received Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
Insight: Cleveland also received Trevor Bauer (ARI), Matt Albers (ARI) and Bryan Shaw (ARI), while Arizona gets Didi Gregorius (CIN), Tony Sipp (CLE) and Lars Anderson (CLE). Stubbs has 20-40 potential but is extremely streaky and only hit .213 last season.
Description: Diamondbacks pitching prospect Trevor Bauer has reportedly been traded to the Indians as part of a three-team trade. SOURCE: Danny Knobler, CBSSports.com
Insight: Bauer is a highly-touted prospect but he went just 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in four starts after being called up in July. The Diamondbacks will receive Reds shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius with Shin Soo-Choo going to Cincinnati.
Description: Cleveland has signed corner infielder Mark Reynolds to a one-year, $6 million contract. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
Insight: According to Heyman, the Indians plan to start Lonnie Chisenhall at third base so signing Reynolds would appear to take the offer to Kevin Youkilis off the table. Reynolds still has impressive power potential but he has posted a .213 batting average over the last three years. He shouldn't be more than a late-round flier in fantasy drafts.
Description: If free agent outfielder/DH Johnny Damon isn't offered an invite to Spring Training, he'll likely retire, reports the Boston Globe.
Insight: If this is the last we've seen of Damon, he'll finish his career with 2,769 hits in 9,736 career at bats. He's 66th on the all-time stolen base list with 408 thefts on 511 attempts. His last All-Star appearance came with the Red Sox back in 2005.
Description: Bill Center from the San Diego Union-Tribune says the Padres are looking to trade for Cleveland righthander Ubaldo Jimenez.
Insight: Jimenez underachieved with the Indians last season (9-17, 5.40 ERA) and could benefit from a change of scenery. Clearly pitching is a priority for the Padres this offseason as the team has also been linked to free agents Dan Haren and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Description: The Diamondbacks and Red Sox have each expressed an interest in trading for Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera according to Nick Cafardo from the Boston Globe.
Insight: It's interesting that Boston has found its way into the mix for Cabrera. The team was expected to give Jose Iglesias a try at shortstop next season but apparently they're not sold on him just yet. The D'Backs dealt their starting shortstop Stephen Drew to the Athletics midway through the season and were forced to use veteran John McDonald (.249, 6 HR, 22 RBI) during the second half.
Description: Jon Paul Morosi from Fox Sports says the Red Sox are looking to trade for Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and righthander Justin Masterson.
Insight: Choo (.283, 16 HR, 67 RBI, 21 SB) could fill the hole in right field left by free agent Cody Ross while Masterson would be a nice complement to a Boston rotation currently featuring Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and John Lackey. Masterson began his career with the Red Sox before being traded to Cleveland as part of a deal for catcher Victor Martinez at the 2009 trade deadline.
Description: Joe Strauss from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Cardinals are interested in acquiring Asdrubal Cabrera from Cleveland.
Insight: Cabrera became expendable when the Indians traded for Mike Aviles last week. The Cardinals' current shortstop options are Rafael Furcal (.264, 5 HR, 49 RBI) and Pete Kozma (.333, 2 HR, 14 RBI in 26 games).
Description: The Blue Jays shipped infielder Yan Gomes to Cleveland Saturday as part of a three-player deal.
Insight: Former Boston shortstop Mike Aviles was also involved in the trade. Gomes only hit .204 in the majors last season but he showed tons of potential during his 79 games in Triple-A (.328, 13 HR, 59 RBI). His eligibility at multiple positions (he played games at first base, third base, catcher and left field last season) makes him an intriguing fantasy possibility.
Description: The Indians did not pick up righthander Roberto Hernandez's option for next season.
Insight: Hernandez only pitched three times for Cleveland in 2012 while authorities kept him in the Dominican Republic for using a false identity. Our fantasy expectations for Hernandez are pretty low heading into 2013.
Description: Cleveland declined its option on DH Travis Hafner for next season.
Insight: Hafner hit a woeful .228 this past season while missing almost 100 games due to injury. At $13 million a year, the Indians would have been insane to keep him. Hafner's days of being a relevant fantasy player appear to be over.
Description: Indians center fielder Michael Brantley underwent sports hernia surgery last week.
Insight: Brantley missed six of the team's last nine games while dealing with a groin injury. He finished the year with a career-high 159 hits in 552 at bats. His .288 batting average in 2012 was the second-highest of his career.
Description: As expected, Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera won't play Saturday against the Royals. He's dealing with a mid-back strain.
Insight: Cabrera suffered the injury early on in Wednesday's win over the White Sox. The Indians were eliminated from playoff consideration several weeks ago so there's a chance Cleveland will play it safe and keep Cabrera (.271, 15 HR, 62 RBI) out for the rest of the season.
Description: Indians lefty David Huff has won his last two starts with a 3.08 ERA.
Insight: Huff is competing for a rotation spot next year. He's made five appearances (three starts) since being called up from Triple-A, going 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA, including a quality start Friday against the Royals.
Description: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has been very successful against White Sox lefty Francisco Liriano with 12 hits in 22 at-bats for a .545 batting average with a 1.283 OPS.
Insight: Cabrera has been hot of late, batting .333 over the past nine games and combined with a favorable matchup makes him a must start. Cabrera hasn't been able to match last year's career-best totals, but he's still a solid fantasy shortstop.
Description: Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports Indians outfielder Michael Brantley will be sidelined for the next few days because of an injured groin.
Insight: It might make sense to shut Brantley down for the season with Cleveland out of playoff contention and only a handful of games remaining. Brantley hasn't demonstrated much power this year (only six homers) but his .286 average leads the team.
Description: DH Travis Hafner is not in Cleveland's starting lineup Thursday against Minnesota.
Insight: It looks like the Indians are trying to ease Hafner (.235, 11 HR, 32 RBI) back after missing more than a month with an injured back. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Wednesday in his first game back.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana hasn't had the breakout season fantasy owners were looking for but he is a solid play Sunday against Tigers starter Rick Porcello. Santana is 8-for-21 with three home runs against Porcello.
Insight: Santana has been much better in the second half -- .284, 10 HRs, .882 OPS compared to .221, 5, .675 before the break -- and Sunday presents a favorable matchup.
Description: Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis is not in the starting lineup for Saturday's game against Detroit. Just a rest day
Insight: Kipnis (.253, 14 HR, 67 RBI, 27 SB) has put together a solid season, though he's done little since the All-Star break. With a .158 batting average last week, he likely needs this day and a few more.
Description: Indians center fielder Michael Brantley, who was scratched from Thursday's starting lineup due to left pectoral soreness, is a .435 career hitter (10-for-23) against Detroit ace Justin Verlander.
Insight: If Brantley plays, he's a viable option despite going up against the best pitcher in the American League. Brantley isn't an everyday fantasy option, he lacks enough power with a .743 OPS.
Description: Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis will have the night off Monday when the Indians take on the Twins.
Insight: Kipnis (.254, 13 HR, 65 RBI, 27 SB) has followed up a six-game hitting streak by going hitless in his past two outings. Cord Phelps (.000, 0 HR, 1 RBI) will start at second for the series opener.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is not in the starting lineup for Monday's game against Detroit, while still dealing with a sore right wrist.
Insight: Cabrera has followed up a career year in 2011 with a disappointing 2012, hitting .270 with 14 homers and seven steals in 121 games. The shortstop is hitting just .233 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 53 games since July 1.
Description: Cleveland first baseman Casey Kotchman hasn't done much all season, but is a career .571 hitter (8-for-140 against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez.
Insight: Kotchman is batting just .233 this season with 12 HR and 48 RBI in 391 at-bats. It doesn't appear that he'll every be more than a fill-in fantasy option, but Monday is one of those days. Start him if he's in the Indians lineup.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was scratched from the lineup Saturday with a sore right wrist.
Insight: Cabrera has followed up a career year in 2011 with a disappointing 2012, hitting .270 with 14 homers and seven steals in 121 games. The shortstop is hitting just .233 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 53 games since July 1.
Description: Indians outfielder Shin Soo-Choo is just 1-for-9 against Oakland lefty Brett Anderson with four strikeouts.
Insight: Choo (.281, 75 runs, 15 HR, 49 RBI) is having a good, but not great season, and with offseason trade rumors already swirling it's no wonder he's batting just .237 over the past few weeks. Avoid this matchup.
Description: According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Indians will listen to trade offers for right fielder Shin-Soo Choo this offseason.
Insight: Choo (.285, 15 HR, 49 RBI) is having a good season and it's likely he'll be out of Cleveland's price range when he hits the free agent market in 2014. If the Indians fail to get a deal done this winter, Cleveland would likely attempt another trade for Choo before next summer's July 31st trade deadline.
Description: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (neck) is back in the lineup Tuesday after appearing as a pinch-hitter Monday. He hasn't started since last Wednesday.
Insight: Kipnis was a top-10 fantasy asset through the first two and a half months this season but he has been in a massive slump since then. In his last 44 games, Kipnis is hitting .216 with zero homers, 18 RBIs, six steals and 15 runs. From the start of the season to June 17, he hit .284 with 11 homers, 41 RBIs, 17 steals and 46 runs.
Description: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is 15-for-31 (.484) in his career against Angels starter Zack Greinke with four extra base hits and a 1.201 OPS.
Insight: Cabrera (.282, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 6 SB) is not producing quite up to last year's standards, he's falling short in the RBI and stolen base departments, but he's still a starting fantasy shortstop and has a favorable matchup on Tuesday.
Description: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is just 1-for-11 in his career against Angels starter C.J. Wilson.
Insight: Cabrera (.280, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 6 SB) is not producing quite up to last year's standards, he's falling short in the RBI and stolen base departments, but he's still a starting fantasy shortstop. Monday, however, is an unfavorable matchup to be avoided.
Description: Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan is in the lineup on Sunday and if you have him on your fantasy team, he could be a good play today. He's hitting .429 in 14 career at bats against Boston's Jon Lester.
Insight: Hannahan is hitting a mere .231 in 73 games this season but he could enjoy some success against Lester, who has struggled all year for the Red Sox (5-10, 5.36 ERA).
Description: The Indians officially released righthander Derek Lowe on Friday.
Insight: Lowe (8-10, 5.52 ERA) struggled near the end of his tenure in Cleveland but he was great at the start of the season so he should find a new team relatively quickly now that he is a free agent.
Description: The Indians have granted outfielder Johnny Damon his release from the team. Cleveland designated Damon for assignment last Friday.
Insight: Interest in the 38-year-old (.222, 4 HR, 19 RBI) seems to be pretty limited right now and it's starting to look like Damon might not reach the 3,000-hit plateau. Right now he stands at 2,769 career hits.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson held Minnesota to two runs on three hits in seven innings to improve to 8-10 and end the Indians' 11-game losing streak Wednesday.
Insight: Masterson looked to be rounding into form when he dropped his ERA to 4.12 on July 23 but he allowed 15 earned runs on 17 hits in 9 2/3 innings in his two starts prior to Wednesday. He's simply not consistent enough to own in fantasy leagues.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is just 4-for-22 (.182) with six strikeouts against Minnesota lefty Brian Duensing.
Insight: Choo was a solid fantasy option from May through July, but August has been another story. In seven games this month he's batting just .233 with a .625 OPS. Sit him in this unfavorable matchup.
Description: Indians closer Chris Perez blew a save for the second straight game Tuesday against the Twins. He allowed four hits and three runs (one earned) and walked one batter in 2/3 of an inning.
Insight: Perez allowed five runs on three hits and two walks in a disastrous outing Sunday and he wasn't much better Tuesday (though a Casey Kotchman error allowed Minnesota to tie the score). Perez is not likely to lose his job just yet but the Indians have lost 11 in a row so the fan base may be calling for his head.
Description: Indians DH Travis Hafner won't be available Monday night against the Twins. He's struggling with a sore back.
Insight: Hafner (.239, 11 HR, 32 RBI) went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs Sunday in a devastating extra innings loss to the Tigers, so clearly his back can't be bothering him too badly. Look for the 35-year-old to return to action on Tuesday.
Description: Though he's hitting .271 with six homers, 16 RBIs and a 14/17 K/BB in 22 games since the All-Star break, Indians catcher Carlos Santana has just one hit in 18 career at-bats against Tigers starter Max Scherzer.
Insight: Santana is also 0-for-7 in his last two games and is a solid bet to post another hitless game Sunday. Sit him down for a day against Scherzer.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is just 6-for-30 (.200) with one RBI and 10 strikeouts in his last eight games, but he's crushed Tigers starter Max Scherzer in his career so you should get him in your fantasy lineup Sunday.
Insight: Choo is 11-for-18 (.611) with two doubles, one triple, one homer, four RBIs and a 2/6 K/BB against Scherzer. He should be able to snap out of his funk Sunday.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Johnny Damon has been designated for assignment.
Insight: Damon (.222, 4 HRs, 19 RBIs) was unimpressive during his 64-game stint with the Indians this season. At age 38, Damon's not getting any younger. Don't count on him to be a factor in fantasy regardless of what team he eventually ends up with.
Description: Righthanded starting pitcher Derek Lowe has been designated for assignment by the Indians.
Insight: Expectations weren't high for Lowe (8-10, 5.52 ERA) coming into the year after a dismal 2011 campaign in Atlanta (9-17, 5.05) but this move still comes as a bit of a surprise given how successful he was in the early part of the season (6-1, 2.05 ERA in his first seven starts). His awful outing Tuesday against the Royals (2.1 IP, 8 H, 7 ERs, 2 BBs) is probably what sealed his fate.
Description: Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo's bat is a big reason why the Indians are still in the Wild Card hunt but they shouldn't rely on him Thursday against the Royals. He's just a .188 hitter against lefthander Bruce Chen.
Insight: Choo (.289, 12 HRs, 39 RBIs) hit for the Golden Sombrero (four strikeouts in a game) Tuesday night in Kansas City. The Sombrero could be a possibility again Thursday as Choo has whiffed six times in 16 career at bats versus Chen (7-9, 5.49 ERA).
Description: While facing Kansas City's Bruce Chen has helped teammates Johnny Damon and Michael Brantley in fantasy, it's had the opposite effect on second baseman Jose Lopez. He's hitting .111 in 18 at bats against the Royals lefty.
Insight: Lopez is 1-for-10 in his last four games so he's not coming into the final game of the series with any momentum. The unfavorable matchup with Chen (7-9, 5.49 ERA) only makes things worse. Sit Lopez (.242, 4 HRs, 28 RBIs) on Thursday and hopes he finds his swing again this weekend in Detroit.
Description: Indians left fielder Johnny Damon hasn't made much noise with his bat this season but look for him to break out Thursday against Kansas City. He's a .448 hitter in 29 lifetimes at bats versus lefthander Bruce Chen.
Insight: Damon (.222, 4 HRs, 19 RBIs) is one for his last 16 and Chen (7-9, 5.49 ERA) hasn't won a game for the Royals since June 26, so something has to give here. We're guessing Damon comes out on top in this matchup.
Description: Indians minor league starter Corey Kluber may be called up to start Thursday now that Josh Tomlin has been demoted to the bullpen.
Insight: Kluber has gone 11-7 with a 3.59 ERA and an International League-leading 128 strikeouts in 125 1/3 innings with Triple-A Columbus this season. Kluber is not one of the Cleveland organization's top 20 prospects (per MLB.com), but he still will have some mixed league intrigue if he's called up due to his excellent Triple-A stats.
Description: Cleveland starter Derek Lowe gave up seven earned runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings Tuesday as his ERA rose to 5.52.
Insight: Lowe has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball since the end of May, completely undoing his 6-2, 2.15 ERA start. In his last 12 starts, Lowe has recorded an abysmal 8.80 ERA in 60 1/3 innings. He should be dropped immediately.
Description: Cleveland left fielder Johnny Damon has never quite mastered the delicate art of hitting against Brian Duensing. In fact, he's failed miserably. Damon is only a .167 career hitter versus the Twins lefthander.
Insight: Sunday is not the day to start Damon (.226, 4 HRs, 18 RBIs).
Description: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is batting just .224 with 24 strikeouts in 21 games this month, and those struggles should continue Thursday with Justin Verlander on the mound for the Tigers.
Insight: Cabrera has managed to post a better OPS that last season even though his power numbers are down, but he's also stolen just two bases in five attempts after swiping 17 a year ago. Keep him on the bench Thursday, as he is just 6-for-40 (.150) with 18 strikeouts against Verlander.
Description: Though Shin-Soo Choo is batting .314 with 26 doubles, 12 homers, 30 RBIs and seven steals in his last 75 games, you should leave him on the bench Thursday against Tigers starter Justin Verlander.
Insight: Verlander has owned Choo in 42 career at-bats against him. Choo has just nine hits and has struck out 17 times against Verlander.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana is a career .067 batter (1-for-15) versus Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer.
Insight: Santana (.233, 7 HR, 36 RBI) has been horrible for most of this season, but over the past two weeks is batting .323 with a pair of homers. Perhaps those who stuck with him are about to be rewarded. Just not on Wednesday in this unfavorable matchup.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana is a career .071 batter (1-for-14) versus Detroit hurler Doug Fister.
Insight: Santana (.233, 7 HR, 36 RBI) has been horrible for most of this season, but over the past two weeks is batting .323 with a pair of homers. Perhaps those who stuck with him are about to be rewarded. Just not on Tuesday in this unfavorable matchup.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo must enjoy seeing Detroit starter Doug Fister on the hill as he's a career .421 hitter (8-for-19) against the right-hander with a pair of homers and a 1.211 OPS.
Insight: Adding to the advantage in this matchup is Choo has batted .356 over the past four weeks. Hot hitter plus favorable matchup equals must-start.
Description: Indians starter Roberto Hernandez will start a minor league rehab appearance Thursday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Insight: Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) was suspended for three weeks by MLB for age and identity fraud after receiving a United States visa over the weekend. You can avoid him in fantasy leagues for now.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana homered for the second time in five games Sunday against the Orioles.
Insight: Santana (.232, 7 HR, 36 RBIs) went more than two months without a homer but he didn't wait long to hit another one after ending the drought. The catcher has been a massive disappointment this season but he's managed to maintain an excellent 67/58 K/BB ratio, including 9/16 K/BB this month, so perhaps he can get things turned around in the power department.
Description: Cleveland first baseman Casey Kotchman is taking the afternoon off Sunday versus Baltimore.
Insight: With just two hits in his last 20 at bats (.100), it's pretty hard to justify starting Kotchman (.231, 9 HRs, 36 RBIs) in fantasy right now, especially with so many other great alternatives at first base.
Description: Cleveland Indians starter Zach McAllister has allowed three earned runs or less in all five starts since he returned to the big leagues in late June. McAllister was handed his second loss Saturday despite giving up three earned on five hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Insight: McAllister (4-2, 3.21) didn't walk a batter Saturday after issuing seven free passes in his two previous starts. The right-hander has a 52/14 K/BB ratio in 56 innings this season and can be used in deeper mixed leagues against weaker offenses.
Description: Indians starter Roberto Hernandez has received a visa to return to the United States and has been suspended three weeks by Major League Baseball for age and identity fraud. He's eligible to rejoin the team Aug. 11.
Insight: Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) restructured his contract, so his suspension is five weeks shorter than the one given to Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) of the Marlins. The right-hander isn't likely to have much fantasy value outside of deep AL-only leagues, as he has recorded an ERA above five in three of his last four seasons.
Description: Indians starter Roberto Hernandez could be close to returning to the United States once he receives a new visa from the State Department. Right now Hernandez (once known as Fausto Carmona), is in the Dominican Republic.
Insight: Hernandez could return to the Cleveland rotation as soon as the middle of August. He went 7-15 with a 5.25 ERA in 32 starts for the Indians last season.
Description: Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez flirted with fantasy relevance in June and early July but he's reverted to form in his past two starts.
Insight: Jimenez (8-9, 5.24 ERA) went 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA in seven starts from June 5 to July 7, but he's allowed 15 earned runs on 14 hits and nine walks in eight innings over his last two starts. Jimenez has also walked four or more batters in five of his last six starts and 67 on the year. He shouldn't be owned in any leagues.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana's two-month homerless streak is finally over. He left the yard for the sixth time this season Wednesday in Cleveland's 10-6 win over the Rays.
Insight: Santana (.226, 6 HRs, 34 RBIs) also contributed an RBI single in the ninth inning, giving him four RBIs for the game. The multi-hit effort was Santana's 11th of the season but just his second since the beginning of June.
Description: Indians DH Travis Hafner is sitting out Tuesday night's game against Tampa Bay.
Insight: Hafner (.228, 8 HRs, 26 RBIs) homered in his first at bat of the second half Friday versus the Blue Jays but since that hit, he has gone 0-10 with three strikeouts. Hafner's lack of eligibility at any position other than DH severely hinders his use in fantasy leagues.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Shelley Duncan will not be in the Indians' starting lineup Sunday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Duncan has emerged on to the fantasy scene thanks to a .500 average and four homers in the month of July. Remember though, Duncan hasn't been an everyday player this season and before this month he was hitting only .205 with five homers and 15 RBIs. Don't expect Duncan's recent success to last for much longer.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley left the yard for the fourth time this season as part of a three-hit effort Saturday against Toronto. Brantley has recorded at least three hits in each of his last three starts.
Insight: We knew Brantley could hit for average (he's batting .299 this season) but we didn't know he could hit home runs. Apparently, he can. He's gone deep three times in his last eight games.
Description: Indians outfielder Shelley Duncan produced three hits Saturday in a loss to the Blue Jays. One of the hits was Duncan's ninth home run of the season.
Insight: Make that four hits in seven post All-Star break at bats for the 32-year-old. He's homered in five out of his last seven games after connecting on just four homers in the first 51 games of his 2012 campaign.
Description: Indians first baseman Casey Kotchman closed out the first half of the season with a strong performance Sunday against the Tigers. The nine-year major league veteran recorded three hits including his eighth home run of the season.
Insight: Kotchman (.241, 8 HRs, 34 RBIs) has collected multiple hits in three out of his last seven starts. Sunday was Kotchman's third three-hit effort of the season.
Description: Indians outfielder Michael Brantley went off for three hits Sunday afternoon in Cleveland's 7-6 loss to Tampa Bay.
Insight: It was Brantley's fifth three-hit game of the season but just his first since May 13. He finishes the first half with a very respectable .288 batting average and 42 RBIs. Brantley has also stolen 10 bases in 2012.
Description: Indians Chris Perez turned in a disastrous outing Sunday against the Rays. He surrendered a two-run ninth inning lead en route to his second blown save of the season.
Insight: Perez's ERA skyrocketed from 2.59 to 3.34 after Sunday's weak effort. As bad as he was in this game, Perez really hasn't given fantasy owners much to complain about this season: his 24 saves are good for fourth in the major leagues and opponents were hitting only .210 against him heading into today's action.
Description: Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez improved to 8-7 with a quality start Saturday against the Rays. Jimenez struck out eight in six five-hit innings.
Insight: Jimenez (8-7, 4.50) walked just one batter after issuing four free passes in each of his last three starts. Despite Saturday's result, the Indians hurler is nowhere close to the pitcher he was with Colorado in 2010. He can be avoided in most formats.
Description: Cleveland starter Derek Lowe won his first start since June 1 Wednesday against the Angels, but he didn't exactly blow Los Angeles away despite tossing a quality start.
Insight: Lowe (8-6, 4.43) did the minimum required for a quality start, but he also allowed 11 hits in his six innings of work. The right-hander started out 6-2 with a 2.15 ERA, but since then he's 2-4 with an 8.03 ERA and a 1.81 WHIP. Despite his recent struggles, Lowe is usually safe to start when he pitches at home, where he is 5-1 with a 2.86 ERA in eight starts.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana is not in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against Los Angeles due to a sore back.
Insight: Santana has been just a shell of the power hitter he was last year, batting .218 with six homers and 29 RBI in 65 games. He's in the middle of a two-week cold spell that shows him batting just .091. Given the slump and poor matchup, Santana should be sitting comfortably on your bench when tonight's game begins.
Description: Indians DH Travis Hafner (knee) is expected to be activated on Wednesday for the game against the Angels, but he's a .138 hitter versus Angels starter Ervin Santana with 11 strikeouts in 29 at-bats.
Insight: Hafner (.242, 6 HR, 23 RBI) hasn't played since May 23 due to surgery to repair fraying in his right meniscus.
Description: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is a career .130 batter (3-for-23) versus Anaheim starter Ervin Santana.
Insight: Cabrera was a surprise last season, but he's not only been able to repeat his performance, but improve upon it. He's batting .290 with 11 HR, 40 RBI and a .847 OPS. The only category he's not improved on is base running. He's got just two steals this season after swiping 17 in 2011.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana is just 1-for-10 lifetime versus Angels starter Dan Haren including five strikeouts.
Insight: Santana has been just a shell of the power hitter he was last year, batting .221 with five homers and 29 RBI in 64 games. He's in the middle of a two-week cold spell that shows him batting just .125. Given the slump and poor matchup, Santana should be sitting comfortably on your bench when tonight's game begins.
Description: Indians third baseman Jose Lopez went 5-6 and drove in a trio of runs Saturday in Cleveland's 11-2 win over the Orioles.
Insight: Lopez was one of three Indians (Shin-Soo Choo and Lou Marson were the others) to record at least four hits on Saturday. Lopez hasn't been a consistent fantasy performer throughout the year but every once in a while he'll reward his owners with a huge game like the one he had today.
Description: One night after Arizona's Aaron Hill hit for the cycle for the second time in less than two weeks, Indians catcher Lou Marson nearly matched that feat on Saturday. Marson came a home run shy of the cycle, finishing the afternoon 4-5 with a double, triple and two singles.
Insight: Marson's batting average shot up 34 points on Saturday following his monster effort. If Carlos Santana's back injury continues to keep him out of the lineup, Marson (.284, 0 HRs, 5 RBIs) could become a decent fantasy catching option.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana is expected to miss Saturday's game against Baltimore with tightness in his back.
Insight: Santana has done almost nothing this season to warrant a starting spot. His .220 batting average with five homers and 29 RBI has him ranked as the 17th-best catcher in my Yahoo fantasy league. Ugly production from a fifth-round selection (ADP 44).
Description: Cleveland Indians starter Zach McAllister tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball against the hapless Orioles Thursday night.
Insight: McAllister picked up the win by scattering seven hits and striking out seven. As we said Wednesday in a column, owners would be wise to stream opposing pitchers against the Orioles in the next week, as Baltimore hitters are struggling mightily.
Description: Indians manager Manny Acta said it is "realistic" to expect DH Travis Hafner (knee) to rejoin the team Monday against the Angels, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Insight: Hafner (.242, 6 HR, 23 RBI) hasn't played since May 23 due to surgery to repair fraying in his right meniscus. Mixed league owners likely can find a better option that the Indians designated hitter.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana, who left Wednesday's game against the Yankees with back tightness, is questionable for Thursday's game against Baltimore.
Insight: It's just the excuse that his fantasy owners need to find someone else. Santana has been horrible batting .220 with five homers and 29 RBI. His average wasn't much better last season (.239), but at least he hit for power with 27 HR, 79 RBI and a .808 OPS. This year he is far off his 2011 pace.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson came into Tuesday's start against the Yankees having allowed one earned run in his last 23 innings. New York's offense tagged him for four runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings, dropping Masterson to 4-7.
Insight: Masterson (4-7, 4.09 ERA) benefitted from facing the National League in each of his last three starts. He still walks too many batters to be counted on against many of the stronger offensive clubs in the American League.
Description: According to the Indians official website, Cleveland manager Manny Acta said he expects Robert Hernandez to rejoin the team "sooner rather than later." Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, is still in the Dominican Republic awaiting a visa from the U.S. State Department.
Insight: Hernandez drastically reworked his contract, so he shouldn't receive a suspension like the one Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) received from Major League Baseball. There's no way of knowing when Hernandez will actually be allowed back in the United States, much less what his role will be if he is able to rejoin the Indians, so you can leave him on the free agent wire for now.
Description: Indians DH Travis Hafner (knee) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday with Triple-A Columbus, Nick Camino of Newsradio WTAM 1100 reports.
Insight: Hafner (.242, 6 HR, 23 RBI) hasn't played since May 23 due to fraying and irritation in his right meniscus. He had surgery to repair the meniscus at the end of May and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks, so he's right on track. There likely aren't many owners waiting desperately for Hafner to return, however, as the designated hitter has just 53 homers in 402 games over the last five seasons.
Description: Jeanmar Gomez could be close to losing his spot in the Indians' starting rotation.
Insight: Gomez has given up five runs or more in four out of his last six outings and enters today's action with a 5.18 ERA. If Gomez pitches poorly Thursday against Baltimore, he could be headed to the bullpen.
Description: Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez held Houston scoreless in 6 2/3 four-hit innings Friday. Jimenez walked four and struck out eight to improve to 7-5.
Insight: Jimenez has allowed one earned run or less in three of his last four starts. He can still dominate weaker lineups when he brings his good stuff to the ballpark. Unfortunately, it's still difficult to predict when he's going to be on point with his command.
Description: Now that Tampa Bay has promoted Chris Archer from Triple-A Durham, Indians minor league starter Corey Kluber has taken over the International League lead with 87 strikeouts.
Insight: Kluber has gone 6-6 with a 3.54 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings for Triple-A Columbus this season. The 26-year-old was sent to Cleveland from San Diego in a three-way trade also involving St. Louis (Jake Westbrook went to St. Louis, Ryan Ludwick went to San Diego) back in 2010. The Indians currently have struggling Josh Tomlin (5.12 ERA) and Jeanmar Gomez (4.95) at the back end of their rotation, so Kluber may get a shot at some point, though nothing is imminent.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson surrendered one unearned run and three hits Wednesday night in the Indians' 8-1 over the Reds. For Masterson, who pitched all nine innings, it was his first complete game of the season and the fourth of his career.
Insight: Masterson (4-6, 3.98 ERA) is quietly becoming fantasy relevant again. He's carrying a 0.39 ERA over his last three starts and is 2-1 in that span.
Description: Indians outfielder Johnny Damon is questionable for Wednesday's game against Cincinnati with a sore back.
Insight: His late arrival to the party, he didn't join the Indians until May after signing late, hasn't proven to be beneficial to Cleveland or fantasy owners. He's batting just .190 with a .563 OPS in 37 games.
Description: Indians starter Justin Masterson is just 1-2 over his last three starts, but he's pitched much better than his record. In three June starts, Masterson has a 1.80 ERA and 1.100 WHIP. He shut out Pittsburgh over seven four-hit innings on Friday night.
Insight: Masterson (3-6, 4.38 ERA, 1.404 WHIP) hasn't delivered on the promise he showed last year (12-10, 3.21 ERA, 1.278 WHIP), but the last few starts are encouraging.
Description: Sure its a small sample size, but Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has faced Cincinnati starter Mike Leake just three times and took him deep twice.
Insight: Though his batting averag is nothing to write home about this week (.214), Choo has hit three homers and knocked in six. The 29-year-old has yet to find the batting form that made him a fantasy star from the second half of 2008 through 2010. This could be a good matchup and Choo should be started.
Description: Cleveland starter Derek Lowe got hammered for 11 hits and seven runs in five innings of work Monday against the Reds.
Insight: Luckily for Lowe, the Indians still found a way to win the game, leaving the 39-year-old with just a no-decision. Lowe had a nice first couple of months but he has been fantasy poison in June. Lowe has given up seven runs or more in three of his last five starts and has lost four out of his last five decisions. Opponents are now hitting .313 against Lowe this season after his disastrous outing Monday.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana will be on the sidelines Sunday for Cleveland's series finale against Pittsburgh.
Insight: Santana (.227, 5 HRs, 29 RBIs) is hitting a mere .154 since coming off the disabled list earlier in the month. Lou Marson (.246, 0 HRs, 4 RBIs) is getting the start at catcher in Santana's place.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley's hitting streak has ended at 22 games. He went hitless in three at bats Saturday against the Pirates.
Insight: It was a rough day for the Indians, who were blown out by a score of 9-2 on Saturday. Brantley is hitting .280 and though he doesn't have much power (just one homer) he has been able to drive in 30 runs this season. His strong stolen base stats (nine steals this year) also make him appealing to fantasy owners.
Description: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera broke out of a 20-game homerless drought with a solo blast Saturday in the Indians' 9-2 loss to the Pirates. It was Cabrera's sixth home run of the season.
Insight: Cabrera is on pace to hit fewer home runs than he did a year ago (he had 25 last year) but his batting average has improved significantly in 2012 (.273 in 2011, .301 this season). He's one of the more useful shortstops in fantasy and should be in your lineup most nights.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana is just 1-for-10 (.100) versus Pittsburgh righty A.J. Burnett with three strikeouts.
Insight: Santana hasn't homered in his last 19 games, batting just .176 over the span. If he's not hitting homers, his low average is a double dose of pain to fantasy owners. He's still got too much talent to let go, but he'll soon find himself on most fantasy benches watching the action. He should not be in your Saturday lineup.
Description: Indians starter Justin Masterson shut out Pittsburgh over seven four-hit innings Friday night. Masterson walked three and struck out nine.
Insight: Masterson (3-6, 4.38) has thrown a quality start in five out of his last six turns, including three straight. While it's difficult to get too excited about Masterson's start Friday considering he was throwing against the Pirates, you can at least upgrade the Indians righty to spot-start status.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo had an interesting afternoon in Cincinnati on Thursday. Despite striking out three times, Choo was able to salvage the day by blasting a pair of solo home runs in the first and fifth innings.
Insight: They were Choo's fourth and fifth long balls of the year. He's hitting .273 in 56 games for the Indians, who started the day in second place in the AL Central.
Description: Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one run on five hits in seven innings Sunday against the Cardinals. Jimenez walked none and struck out seven.
Insight: Jimenez is back on the fantasy radar after he allowed two runs in 13 2/3 innings over his last two starts. The most important thing is that Jimenez had just one walk in that span after walking 6.91 batters per nine innings in his first 10 starts.
Description: Indians right-hander Derek Lowe allowed seven runs on nine hits in five innings against the Tigers Thursday.
Insight: Reality is starting to set in for Lowe. The right-hander started out 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA. That ERA has since skyrocketed to 3.72 as he has lost three of his last four starts. Lowe also dropped to 3-3 with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP on the road this season. He came in with a 7-2 record and a 1.87 ERA in his career against Detroit, so fantasy owners were likely looking to capitalize on that past success by streaming Lowe today. However, he's looking like someone you only want to use when he's pitching at home, where he is 4-1 with a 1.37 ERA in six starts.
Description: Indians outfielder Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a three-run homer off Detroit's Max Scherzer in the first inning Wednesday.
Insight: Brantley seems to be forcing owners to look his way. Though he has raised his batting average from .255 to .282 during the hitting streak, he had yet to hit a home run prior to Wednesday. He's now got one to go along with his nine steals.
Description: Derek Lowe will start Thursday at Detroit. The right-hander is owned in just 31 percent of Yahoo! leagues despite a 7-3 record and a 3.06 ERA.
Insight: Lowe hasn't been good on the road this season (3-2, 5.40 ERA) but hopefully his past success against the Tigers can offset that. In 29 games (10 starts) against Detroit, Lowe had gone 7-2 with a 1.87 ERA and an 0.87 WHIP.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana, who just returned from a concussion injury, does not have a favorable matchup in tonight's game. He's just 1-for-12 in his career against Detroit starter Max Scherzer.
Insight: Santana was hitless in his first game since May 25 and might take a few days to get back in the groove. Facing Scherzer won't help the situation.
Description: Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo must loves facing Detroit starter Max Scherzer, considering he's a career .571 hitter (8-for-14) against the Tigers righty with a 1.667 OPS.
Insight: Choo has hit safely in 18 of his last 21 games to raise his average 34 points (.235 to .269), but he's still not returned to the level that had him a fantasy star from 2008-10. We hope this hot streak continues for a while longer.
Description: Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez had a rare solid start on Tuesday against the Tigers. Jimenez held Detroit to one run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four to improve to 6-4.
Insight: Jimenez has been atrocious this season, but he was able to maintain his command on Tuesday, putting up his lowest walk total of the season. The right-hander was able to drop his ERA to 5.31, but with a K/9 rate of 5.31 and a K/BB of 0.86, Jimenez is really not worth owning. His 5.95 xFIP doesn't leave too much hope for improvement either.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana is expected to be activated from the disabled list in time to play Tuesday night against the Tigers. Santana has been out with a concussion since May 25th.
Insight: Cleveland has dropped six of its last eight games so Santana's bat should be a welcome addition to the lineup. Santana only has 5 HRs this year but last season he had 27 so he is very capable of carrying the Indians' offense when he is healthy.
Description: Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer against the Twins on Friday.
Insight: Chisenhall, a former first-round draft pick, has two homers in four games (three starts) since getting called up from Triple-A. Chisenhall will see plenty of playing time while Jack Hannahan is on the DL with a strained calf. The 23-year-old was hitting .324 with 12 doubles, four homers and 17 RBIs in 28 games with Triple-A Columbus prior to his callup.
Description: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis went 2-for-5 with a homer, four RBIs and a stolen base against the Twins on Friday.
Insight: Kipnis has been a fantasy powerhouse this season, providing five-category production at a high level. On the year, the 25-year-old is batting .283 with nine homers, 34 RBIs, 35 runs scored and 12 steals in 51 games.
Description: According to Nick Camino of Newsradio WTAM 1100, Cleveland manager Manny Acta said he expects catcher Carlos Santana to return next week.
Insight: Santana has been out since May 26 due to a concussion caused by a foul ball hitting him in the facemask. The 26-year-old catcher has been a disappointment this season, batting .245 with just five homers in 43 games.
Description: Indians minor leaguer Matt LaPorta leads all Triple-A players in All-Star votes.
Insight: LaPorta has smashed 14 home runs in 45 games for Triple-A Columbus this year. He's batting .309 with a 1.019 OPS. With DH Travis Hafner out 4-6 weeks due to meniscus surgery, we may see LaPorta get the call to the big leagues at some point. The former first round pick has 30 homers and a .701 OPS in 269 career major league games, but players with first-round talent are always worth another look.
Description: Indians DH Travis Hafner will miss 4-6 weeks after having surgery on his right meniscus on Thursday morning.
Insight: Hafner hasn't played since May 23 due to fraying and irritation in his right meniscus. His .242 average and six homers shouldn't be that difficult to replace, especially considering he isn't eligible at any position other than utility.
Description: Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo does not like facing Kansas City starter Bruce Chen. In 13 at-bats, he's hitting just .154 with five strikeouts.
Insight: Choo has failed to return to the form that had him a fantasy star from 2008-10. For the past season and a half his batting average is hovering around the .260 mark and his OPS is .782 which is not fantasy worthy production. At some point soon we must admit that this is his new performance level and look elsewhere.
Description: After two excellent starts, Indians starter Justin Masterson reverted to his early season struggles on Tuesday against Kansas City. Masterson allowed eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out eight.
Insight: Masterson has been nothing like the pitcher he was last year due to a sky-high 12.4 walk percentage (he was at 7.2 last season). The right-hander has walked five or more batters in four of his 11 starts, and while he managed to not walk a batter on Tuesday, everything he threw near the plate was knocked around by Kansas City batters. He's droppable in shallow leagues, as he doesn't offer much in the way of strikeouts either.
Description: It took 73 at bats but Johnny Damon has finally homered in 2012. He belted a three-run homer off of Gavin Floyd in the second inning of Cleveland's 12-6 loss to the White Sox.
Insight: It's good to see that Damon (.158 average in 76 at bats this year) still has a little pop left in his bat at age 38 but he's still a long way away from becoming fantasy relevant. The home run was his only hit of the afternoon.
Description: Indians DH Travis Hafner (leg) is not in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against Chicago. He will test the leg on Monday when the Indians return to Cleveland.
Insight: Hafner fouled a pitch off his right shin on Wednesday and hasn't played since. The designated hitter is batting .242 with six homers and 23 RBIs this season. His .380 OBP makes him valuable even if he hasn't slugged over .500 since 2006.
Description: Derek Lowe got pounded Saturday in a 14-7 loss to the White Sox. The Cleveland righthander allowed 10 hits and eight earned runs in 2.1 innings.
Insight: It was Lowe's shortest outing of the season and it raised his season ERA by a full run (2.15 to 3.25). Lowe has lost two straight and seems to be slowly falling back to Earth after a hot start to the season.
Description: Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana exited Friday's game after taking a foul ball off his mask.
Insight: Santana is 0-for-10 in his last three games and 3-for-24 since May 18. The Indians were down 9-2 when Santana was removed, so this might be a case of Cleveland just being cautious with its young catcher.
Description: Outfielder Michael Brantley is not in the Indians' lineup on Friday.
Insight: Brantley has four stolen bases in the last four games and seven on the season, though he's yet to hit a home run after socking seven last year. There is no word on why Brantley is getting an off day. According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the outfielder tweaked his ankle on the basepaths on Thursday, but he also could be sitting because the White Sox are throwing a lefty on Friday.
Description: Travis Hafner (leg) is out of Cleveland's lineup again on Friday.
Insight: Hafner fouled a pitch off his right shin on Wednesday and had to sit out yesterday. The designated hitter is batting .242 with six homers and 23 RBIs this season. His .380 OBP makes him valuable even if he hasn't slugged over .500 since 2006.
Description: Chris Perez tossed a scoreless ninth for his league-leading 16th save of the season Thursday in Cleveland's 2-1 win over the Tigers.
Insight: Perez has been grumbling lately about the Indians' poor attendance totals but there were a solid 23,000 in attendance to cheer the Indians on on Thursday. Perez hasn't surrendered a run in his last six appearances and overall, he has converted 16 of 17 save opportunities on the season.
Description: Justin Masterson accomplished the near impossible on Thursday: he outdueled Justin Verlander. Masterson went seven innings for the Indians, allowing five hits and one earned run. He struck out four and walked five.
Insight: Masterson is walking way too many batters right now (he's handed out 34 free passes in 10 starts) but Thursday's win was still an improvement for Masterson, who entered the game with an ERA above five.
Description: Travis Hafner will not participate in Thursday afternoon's game against the Tigers. The Indians DH is feeling a little sore after fouling a ball off of his right knee in Wednesday night's game.
Insight: Hafner is missing his fifth game of the season. He's only two for his last 16 (.125).
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana has struggled against Detroit starter Doug Fister. In 11 at-bats, Santana has produced just one hit, a single, for a .091 batting average.
Insight: Santana's yearly OPS keeps dropping and this isn't a good trend. In his rookie season he hit .868, sophomore year was .808 and so far in 2012 his OPS is just .795. On top of this fact is an unfavorable matchup that should have fantasy owners sitting the Indians backstop for the day.
Description: Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is a career .500 hitter versus Detroit starter Doug Fister with a pair of homers and a 1.438 OPS.
Insight: Choo is not yet back to his 2008-10 form, but he currently owns a nine-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 18 of his last 20 games (.338). The power will eventually return and make him a highly sought after player once again.
Description: Indians catcher Carlos Santana has played long ball with Tigers hurler Rick Porcello. In 16 at-bats, Santana has collected six hits (.375) including three homers and a double for a 1.412 OPS.
Insight: Santana'syearly OPS keeps dropping and this isn't a good trend. In his rookie season he hit .868, sophomore year was .808 and so far in 2012 his OPS is just .795. Despite that, today's matchup is a favorable one and he is a must-start.