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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Start or sit: Grady Sizemore

If you are a disgruntled Grady Sizemore owner, here is one set of statistics that might make you feel a little better:

Since 2005, Sizemore's first full major-league season, his most productive April in terms of home runs and RBI occurred in 2009, when he tallied six homers and 18 RBI, while batting .239 with four stolen bases.

We all know how last season turned out -- Sizemore's worst with the Tribe, both on and off (think bathroom attire, or lack thereof) the field.

In fact, Sizemore hasn't produced much in the way of homers and RBI in the season's first month during his career. In 2005, he had two homers and seven RBI. In 2006, it was one and 10; in 2007, five and 11; and in 2008, three and 13. His batting averages in March/April from 2005-09: .223, .313, .253, .287 and .239.

So we have no reason to worry about Sizemore's abysmal 2010 start?

Your guess is as good as mine. (That's why they pay me the big bucks.)

In all seriousness, I wouldn't bench him yet, but he'd be on a shorter leash than Jesse James and Tiger Woods.

Sizemore is hitting .203, has yet to hit a home run, has stolen only one base and sports a .282 on-base percentage and .610 OPS. And how bad have the Indians been offensively? Sizemore entered Tuesday night's game at the Angels sixth on the team in hitting and third in RBI and runs scored.

Counting his injury-marred 2009, Sizemore has compiled 500 at-bats the last two seasons. In that span, he's batting .242 with 81 runs, 18 homers, 70 RBI and only 14 steals.

That's a far cry from 2008, when he had 33 homers, 38 steals and 90 RBI.

He's young (27) and he averaged 27 homers, 29 steals and 81 RBI from 2005-08.

That gives him some rope. Don't let it cloud your judgement of Sizemore from here on out, but allow him another week or two to reward your faith.

If he's still batting in the low .200s with no power by mid-May, he should join every Indians hitter not named Shin-Soo Choo as a fantasy reserve.

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