Lonnie Chisenhall
Lonnie Chisenhall
30-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Chisenhall missed most of 2018 with a lingering calf issue. The problem first hit him in early April, and kept him out two months. He returned and hit .343/.397/.493 in spot duty facing righties, but went down with a Grade 3 strain of his calf July 1 and was done for the season. Chisenhall has had nearly 2400 plate appearances in his career, and yet has fewer than 400 plate appearances against lefties because he is a below-average hitter against them and his power production drops off noticeably against southpaws. He is only slightly above average against righties. Chisenhall has not seen more than 425 plate appearances in a season since 2014, which disqualifies him from mixed-league consideration. His role is now marginalized by both splits and injuries. The bat has redeeming qualities for single-league formats, but Chisenhall is nothing more than a late-round target. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $2.75 million contract with Pittsburgh in November of 2018.
Frontrunner to start in right field
OFPittsburgh Pirates
February 13, 2019
Manager Clint Hurdle said Chisenhall is the "first option" to be the Pirates' starting right fielder, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
With Gregory Polanco (shoulder) expected to begin the season on the injured list, there is an opening in right. Chisenhall appears to be the frontrunner, at least for the primary role, given his .291/.347/.468 slash line over the past three seasons. Hurdle added that non-roster invitee Melky Cabrera could also be in the mix for the starting role if he plays to the best of his ability.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .809 120 14 2 15 1 .280 .379 .430
Since 2016vs Right .815 663 74 19 104 8 .293 .341 .474
2018vs Left .804 8 0 0 1 0 .286 .375 .429
2018vs Right .850 87 11 1 8 1 .325 .395 .455
2017vs Left .967 60 8 2 10 1 .340 .456 .511
2017vs Right .857 210 26 10 43 1 .275 .333 .524
2016vs Left .642 52 6 0 4 0 .217 .294 .348
2016vs Right .784 366 37 8 53 6 .295 .332 .451
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .807 370 43 10 71 2 .293 .346 .461
Since 2016Away .822 413 45 11 48 7 .288 .347 .474
2018Home .772 31 3 0 3 0 .269 .387 .385
2018Away .880 64 8 1 6 1 .345 .397 .483
2017Home .804 140 17 6 33 0 .276 .324 .480
2017Away .967 130 17 6 20 2 .303 .398 .569
2016Home .814 199 23 4 35 2 .309 .355 .459
2016Away .724 219 20 4 22 4 .265 .303 .422
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Stat Review
How does Lonnie Chisenhall compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Chisenhall collided with an outfield wall during a Cactus League game in March, causing him to begin the season on the 10-day DL. Injuries were a factor again in May when he suffered a concussion, and throughout the second half when he dealt with a nagging calf ailment. In sum, Chisenhall played in 82 games for Cleveland last season, with the bulk of that playing time coming on the large side of a platoon as he racked up 210 of his 270 plate appearances against righties despite enjoying success in his limited exposure to southpaws. The per-game output was the best of Chisenhall's career, as he swatted 12 homers and drove in 53 runs while establishing career highs across the board with his slash line (.288/.360/.521). Unless he's entrusted with regular opportunities against lefties, it's difficult to rely on Chisenhall for more than 450 plate appearances, but he'll have an excellent opportunity to provide above-average run production if he remains in Cleveland.
Chisenhall finds himself as a strong-side platoon player at the young age of 28. He had his best year in batting average because manager Terry Francona limited his exposure to lefties -- against whom he has had little career success. Even then, it isn't like he is a monster against righties either. He has more of a line drive approach than one that projects for 20 homers and thus he doesn't draw too many walks as pitchers opt not to pitch around him. In an ideal world, he teases 20 homers by getting a lot of help from his home-run-to-flyball ratio, but if he gets 500 plate appearances, it will drag down his average because he will face too many lefties. He no longer qualifies in the infield, and the lack of power really impacts his fantasy value as an outfielder where these types are easily found in the free agent pool.
Chisenhall earned himself a ticket back to Triple-A Columbus in early June after getting off to a .209/.241/.345 start at the plate and struggling defensively at the hot corner. He didn't hit a ton during his demotion, but did enough to earn himself a callup at the end of July and saw most of his time in right field and DH upon his return. The Indians seem committed to a left side of the infield consisting of Giovanny Urshela and Francisco Lindor going forward, so Chisenhall will need to land a utility role this spring. A second-half OPS of .756 was inflated by a .359 BABIP, and a career .727 OPS against righties is serviceable, but doesn't make him a righty-masher by any stretch of the imagination. The Indians were encouraged enough by his defense in right field to give him a chance to earn a share of the duties in spring training if they are unable to land a big corner bat in the offseason.
When it was all said and done, 2014 was the breakout year for Chisenhall that wasn't really a breakout. The only statistical change in Chisenhall’s game was a career best batting average that led to a bump in on-base percentage. His slugging rates were in line with his career norms and even his plate discipline in terms of swing rates, chase rates, and the like have all been remarkably stable for a young player. The spike in average was fueled by hitting lefties – something he rarely did in previous seasons. Whether the improvement was enough to keep him out of a platoon remains to be seen, but it is a good start. He hit .332/.396/.519 in the first half and just .218/.277/.315 after the break. The real Chisenhall lies somewhere in between that for 2015 with perhaps a little more power to come. Talk up the weak second half on draft day while rostering the stable skills on the cheap.
Chisenhall's slow start (.213/.253/.351 in 94 at-bats) earned him a return trip to Triple-A Columbus in May in an effort to put the pieces back together. He hit his way back to Cleveland with a .390/.456/.676 line in 27 games at Triple-A and showed some improvement in his return to the Tribe. Over the course of his career, he made very little progress against southpaws, and it doesn't appears as though he will ever completely fulfill the promise he once flashed as a prospect. Chisenhall has likely shown enough to enter spring training as the team's starter at third base, but he is likely to become a batting average liability if the Indians overexpose him against left-handed pitching.
Chisenhall opened the season at Triple-A Columbus after slumping his way off the roster in spring training before earning a promotion to Cleveland at the end of May. A broken forearm effectively ended his season a month later, sidelining him until the middle of September, so he could be excused for never seemingly getting on track at the plate. The shine on his prospect status is beginning to wear off and he needs to start producing at the plate to secure his place in the team's plans as the Tribe's primary third baseman. He figures to enter spring with the inside track for the third-base job, but there's less upside here than there appeared to be a few seasons ago.
A quick start to the season that had the Indians in contention combined with concussion issues at Triple-A Columbus kept Chisenhall down in the minors until late June. He didn't hit the ground running quite as quickly as many had hoped, hitting .255 with seven homers in 66 games for the Indians after his promotion. His command of the strike zone got worse as the season wore on so he'll need to reverse that trend quickly. He's a nice prospect and Cleveland's everyday third baseman heading into spring training, but it may be a few more seasons before he's a big contributor in most fantasy circles.
Chisenhall rebounded nicely after being slowed by a shoulder injury, hitting .278/.351/.450 at Double-A with 17 homers. He's never had that jaw-dropping season that screams stud in the making but he'll give you decent power and batting average once he arrives. The Indians are looking for third-base help this winter as Chisenhall figures to need some time at Triple-A before he's ready. A midseason callup isn't out of the question and may hinge on the quality of the veterans who end up ahead of him on the depth chart at the end of spring training.
Chisenhall, the team's top pick in the 2008 draft, earned a promotion to Double-A Akron to end the season after a breakout year (.276 with 18 homers) as a 20-year-old at High-A Kinston. He had a forgettable month at Double-A (.183 with 16 K in 93 at-bats) but had a nice postseason. Forgive Indians fans if they break out into hives with memories of Matt Whitney, but Chisenhall figures to be the team's heir apparent to Jhonny Peralta at third base. The Indians have a $7 million option on Peralta for the 2011 season so there should be no temptation to rush the kid if he's not totally ready. He'll spend most of 2010 at Double-A.
More Fantasy News
Comes to terms with Pirates
OFPittsburgh Pirates
November 26, 2018
Chisenhall (calf) agreed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract with Pittsburgh on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
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Return not imminent
OFCleveland Indians
August 21, 2018
Manager Terry Francona said Chisenhall (calf) is "not as close as we had hoped" in his return from calf issues, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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Making steady progress
OFCleveland Indians
August 3, 2018
Chisenhall (calf) has been running on a treadmill, taking swings off a tee and making throws on the field, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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Transferred to 60-day DL
OFCleveland Indians
July 20, 2018
Chisenhall (calf) was moved to the 60-day disabled list prior to Friday's game.
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Out 8-to-10 weeks
OFCleveland Indians
July 10, 2018
Chisenhall has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 left calf strain and is expected to miss 8-to-10 weeks, T.J. Zuppe of The Athletic Cleveland reports.
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