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Indians' Michael Brantley: Opening Day unlikely
by RotoWire Staff | Special to

Indians manager Terry Francona acknowledged that it is unlikely Brantley (shoulder) will be ready to rejoin the team's lineup by Opening Day, the Indians' official site reports. "He won't open the season, most likely, with us," Francona said of Brantley. "We'll look at a number of guys. We'll see what fits the best. We'll probably have some platooning going on, especially earlier in the year. There's a number of guys that are coming in [to help]."

A report in December suggested that Brantley was behind schedule in his rehab following offseason shoulder surgery, but the Indians quickly released a statement to shoot that down. With Lonnie Chisenhall already expected to see regular time in right field against right-handed starters, there may be an open competition in spring training for the starts on that side of the platoon in left while Brantley goes through the final stages of his recovery in April. Barring the addition of a left-handed hitting veteran to the outfield mix this spring, Tyler Naquin and James Ramsey could emerge as candidates to work in tandem with Rajai Davis, Joey Butler, and Collin Cowgill.

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Power not likely to be big part of Francisco Lindor's game
by Chris Towers | Fantasy Writer

Francisco Lindor was a big-time prospect for the Cleveland Indians because he was expected to step into the majors and be an immediate contributor with the glove, and he definitely was that. Lindor helped key a second-half turnaround of the club's infield defense, but what really made him stand out for Fantasy purposes was the unexpected power he provided as a rookie.

After hitting just two homers in 59 games at Triple-A in 2015, Lindor quickly found his power stroke in the majors. He slugged a dozen homers in 99 games, falling just one short of his minor-league season-high in 51 fewer games. As a 21-year-old, it's no surprise Lindor is growing into his game and developing more power, but a repeat performance seems unlikely for a number of reasons.

First off, he hit the majority of his batted balls on the ground, with a flyball rate of just 28.7 percent. Additionally, he sported one of the lowest hard-hit averages in the majors, with a 25.2 percent mark that ranked 119th out of 141 qualified hitters. Among players with a hard-hit average below 26 percent, Lindor's 13.0 HR/FB ratio leads the way, a sign that he might not be able to sustain that kind of power.

Lindor could still be a solid Fantasy option, with 12 homer and 20-steal potential for a full season. Just don't expect him to sustain a 20-homer pace like he did as a rookie.

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Indians' Josh Tomlin: Agrees to extension through 2018
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Josh Tomlin agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes reports.

Tomlin recently agreed to a one-year, $2.25 million contract for 2016, avoiding arbitration. The extension will pay him $2.5 million in 2017, with a $3 million club option for 2018 that includes a $750,000 buyout. The 31-year-old righty missed the majority of last season while recovering from shoulder surgery, but he excelled to the tune of a 3.02 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 57:8 K:BB ratio in 65.2 innings (10 starts) over the final seven weeks of the campaign. Though still highly vulnerable to the long ball, Tomlin should have the inside track to the fourth or fifth spot in Cleveland's starting rotation.

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2015 Team Leaders
AVGMichael Brantley , LF.310
HRCarlos Santana , 1B19
RBICarlos Santana , 1B85
OBPMichael Brantley , LF.379
SLGMichael Brantley , LF.480
RJason Kipnis , 2B86
SBMichael Brantley , LF15
WDanny Salazar , SP14
ERADanny Salazar , SP3.45
WHIPCorey Kluber , SP1.05
KCorey Kluber , SP245
SVCody Allen , RP34

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