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The Cleveland Indians threw Travis Hafner on the 15-day disabled list after about a week of his hobbled lower half. The streaky DH will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, which briefly sidelined him with soreness earlier this month and now has a frayed and irritated medial meniscus. Expect a return in four to six weeks, but with Hafner's history of slow healing, it could take longer.
Pronk's .242-6-23 line was on pace for what to expect from him this year. Bright sides: He displayed slight improvements in attacking strike-zone offerings, and his sparkling 26-to-25 walk-to-whiff ratio - notable improvements in both categories - has made him a boon in OBP setups.
Can his knee recover strength in time for him to approach 20 homers again? AL-only owners and those in deep mixers with a voluminous DL allowance could wait. Dual-universe players facing tighter restrictions don't have to stay loyal.
This props the window open for Lonnie Chisenhall to prove he belongs in the Tribe's everyday lineup, even after incumbent third sacker Jack Hannahan (calf) returns from the DL. It's not like Hannahan ranks highly in their long-term plans, despite his relative success this season.
Chisey, who homered on his first MLB swing of the season, has yawned at his second go-round for Triple-A Columbus (.324/.353/.541 in 111 at-bats) and, outside maybe his 4:20 BB/K, doesn't need significant work there anymore. He adjusted after struggling initially during his debut MLB stint last year, batting .290 over his final 100 at-bats. Plus, he was rapidly called up because the Indians were fighting for a postseason berth; this year, he has been allowed to develop more so at his own pace.
With the apex of his hype in the rearview, he's better suited in 2012 to justify taking a mixed-league dice roll on his prorated 20-homer promise, especially since he can simply supplant Hannahan directly. Shallows don't need to act as urgently, though.
Of course, the Tribe could use their newly opened DH slot to fit in at-bats for Jose Lopez, Shelley Duncan and Aaron Cunningham versus southpaws when Johnny Damon or Casey Kotchman needs a day off altogether or from field work. Limited roles for Lopez as an around-the-diamond plug-in, Duncan against left-handers and Cunningham as a fill-in fly catcher confine them to single-universe attention.
Damon maintains deep-mixed utility for those with extensive outfield requirements; Kotchman is an older Daric Barton in terms of fantasy value. The return of Grady Sizemore (back), whenever that comes, should further complicate this situation, as well.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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