Burning Fantasy Baseball Questions: Cleveland Indians

by Nicholas Minnix on February 7, 2013 @ 12:40:46 PDT


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When will Cleveland realize that Chris Perez is a bum?

Cleveland Indians 2B Jason Kipnis
Perez actually ... kinda ... safe?

Correction: Perez is not a bum. True, he blew four saves and took four losses last season, posting a 3.59 ERA one season after recording a 3.32 mark. But the right-hander - legitimately - recovered his strikeout prowess (9.21 K/9), and he reduced his rate of free passes (2.50 BB/9) considerably, with the aid of a two-seamer over which he had more control. Of the 23 earned runs he allowed last season, 11 of them came in three appearances (2 1/3 frames). If the rest of the Indians' bullpen hadn't been worked to the bone, perhaps Perez wouldn't have endured such misery.

Depending on your perception of the 27-year-old, these might seem like mere excuses. This closer isn't a bum, but he's not an elite fireman. His statistical indicators point toward a rebound in ERA, though, speculatively placing him in the neighborhood of someplace between 2010 (a 1.71 ERA that he won't touch) and 2012. Will your league-mates view him that way? Not all of them. The Tribe have a reinforced bullpen this year, too.

Of course, right-hander Vinnie Pestano is the man some stat mavens want to see closing contests in Cleveland. And, with his tendency to fan or induce infield pop-ups from the opposition, he can do the job. The soon-to-be 28-year-old's arsenal has evolved a bit to become more of the 9.77 K/9 variety roto managers saw last season than the 12.19 K/9 he posted in 2011, however. Pestano should remain one of baseball's top setup men and the clear next-in-line. Expect Terry Francona, who rarely ruffles feathers, to keep this arrangement.

Give one reason to invest in ... OK, just to investigate this rotation.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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