Some high impact fantasy players are recovering nicely from previous injuries while some other big names are struggling. The Cardinals seemed to have avoided another disaster while the Red Sox are pleased with the progress of their newly acquired slugger. The Los Angeles Angels maybe in the market for a bat while they await their slugger to return. Other promising free agent signings are battling injury and age questions in this installment of the injury updates.
It appears that Kendry Morales may not be available for opening day after all. Morales is still recovering from his broken leg last season. There have been reports that the Angels are looking to add a left-handed bat while they wait for Morales to return. Morales is the true power in the Angels line-up. There is still no timetable on when he will even play some spring training games. Morales is likely to fall in drafts as players tend to do when they start the season on the DL. Assuming he still makes some progress in the coming weeks, he is still a valuable player to draft. These injured players are over-looked in the draft and are still valuable in a season with 162 games.
Initially the Lance Berkman signing in St. Louis looked real promising but he has not been able to stay healthy so far. He is battling elbow tendinitis since his move to the outfield this season and the Cardinals have been taking it easy on him with very light throwing drills. Berkman is also battling a sore calf which is not believed to keep him out more than a few days. The elbow injury is the big concern. St. Louis has no other place to put Berkman with Albert Pujols at 1B so an outfielder with a bad elbow is real problem. Berkman was suppose to be a nice addition with Holliday and Pujols already in the line-up along with the promising Colby Rasmus. If Berkman does not play much in the outfield this spring training, he should fall in the draft but likley won't due to his reputation. Unforunately, age and injuries seems to be catching up to the once dominant hitter.
Derek Lee is still battling soreness in his surgically repaired thumb but it appears to be a non-issue. He recently sat out practice with a sore wrist as well. Lee is someone that I would avoid. Last season, he battled back and neck issues as well as the thumb issue. This is also not the first time he has battled wrist issues. It appears that his injuries are catching up with him. Lee saw his power numbers drop last season and even had some thinking he might retire. Other than a few monster seasons, he has only cracked 100 rbi's twice and it is not like he was batting outside the middle of the order. He also has only hit for more than 22 hr's once over the past 5 seasons. At a position that requires fantasy production, Lee just is not up to par with some of the other players so I would avoid him in this draft.
The Red Sox continue to be pleased with the progess of Adrian Gonzalez as he returns from off-season shoulder surgery. He took live batting practice for the first time with no setbacks. Gonzalez should return to live games in the near future and barring a setback he should be fine for opening day. He is a huge addition to the Boston line-up as he managed to put up monster numbers in San Diego in that huge stadium and with very little support around him. Gonzalez is a definite early round pick who is surrounded by some returning players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedoria, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, J.D. Drew and the the newly acquired Carl Crawford. If healthy, I could see 40+ HR's and 120+ RBI's.
The news out Phildelphia is not encouraging regarding Chase Utley. He has been given a cortisone shot in his troublesome knee. Utley is still battling patella tenditis which has not responded to other treatments. There is no set time for when he will be ready to play spring training games. He is likely to eventually get back on the field but this has been an issue in the past. He only played 116 games last season and hit 16 hr's but had 28+ Hr's 4 of the last 5 seasons so it remains to be seen how this will effect his power numbers. Utley is still a top tier fantasy 2B but seeing how is knee responds over the next few weeks is a must.
The news in St. Louis was scary when Chris Carpenter left a game with a hamstring injury. With Adam Wainwright out for the season, a serious injury to Carpenter would cripple the Cardinals pitching staff. However it appears that he will only miss one or two starts and should bounce back fine. The only concern is that he tries to compensate for this injury and he does something to his arm. Carpenter has dealt with plenty of arms issues in the past so its always something to be wary of. Anytime a pitcher makes any adjustments to his throwing motion it can be a disaster.
Check out our Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit 2011 for everything you need to know including real time cheatsheets, projected rotations of starting pitchers, expert mock drafts, injury updates and hot prospect scouting reports. Remember to keep Fantasy Alarm with you all season long by signing up for our breaking player news and starting lineup email and text message service.
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