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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.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fantasy focus: Grady Sizemore and Asdrubal Cabrera

How bad has it been for Grady Sizemore this season?

I'm guessing I wasn't the only owner who was relieved Sizemore entered Week 7 banged up. That gave me a reason to bench him and not worry about him possibly having his first big week of the season during a time in which he was on my list of reserves.

The Indians center fielder has a deep bone bruise in his left knee and will miss at least 15 days. Surgery hasn't been ruled out, however, and Sizemore's sudden lack of power should mean an extended stay on your bench.

Shortstop and teammate Asdrubal Cabrera, meanwhile, will miss at least 8 to 10 weeks with a broken forearm (thanks for your efforts, Jhonny Peralta) -- meaning you should prepare for the possibility of the 24-year-old not helping you the rest of the year.

If you need help in the outfield or at short because of the absence of Sizemore and/or Cabrera, here are a few options who are owned in fewer than 50 percent of the standard leagues on


1. Corey Hart, Brewers (owned in 43.4 percent of the ESPN leagues): He has seven homers, 19 RBI and three steals, including four home runs and seven RBI in his last five games. After a miserable 2009 and poor beginning to this season, Hart is resembling the player who totaled 44 homers, 172 RBI and 46 steals from 2007-08.

2. Jonny Gomes, Reds (22.9 percent): A career .245 hitter, Gomes is batting .304 with five homers and 25 RBI. He has hit 20 or more homers three times since 2005.

3. Austin Kearns, Indians (25 percent): The veteran has been surprisingly effective in his first season with the Tribe, batting .302 with three homers and 20 RBI.

4. Nate McLouth, Braves (39.8 percent): Once an undervalued high-end starter, McLouth is now a bargain-basement pickup because of his poor play. He is batting only .208, but is 9-for-24 (.375) with a homer and six RBI in his last seven contests.

Others of note: Ryan Sweeney, Athletics (11.6 percent); Will Venable, Padres (10.3); Luke Scott, Orioles (17.1); Aaron Rowand, Giants (20.3); Fred Lewis, Blue Jays (13.8).


1. Mike Aviles, Royals (owned in 31.9 percent of the ESPN leagues): He is starting at second base for Kansas City, but is eligible at short in many leagues. Aviles is batting .381 in May and is capable of reaching double figures in both homers and steals.

2. Orlando Cabrera, Reds (45.5 percent): The 35-year-old is batting .271 with 20 runs scored, three homers, 19 RBI and four steals. In May, he's hitting .313.

3. Cristian Guzman, Nationals (19.8): He entered Thursday's game batting .328 overall and .426 this month.

4. Cliff Pennington, Athletics (19.8): He has three homers, 17 RBI and five steals, but is batting only .232 and is 5-for-36 since May 12 (.139).

5. Yunel Escobar, Braves (45.2): He followed his career year of 2009 by starting miserably, then getting hurt this season. Since returning from the DL, he is 3-for-21 (.143), and his season average is .200. If he turns it around, he's a waiver-wire bargain.

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