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Neck discomfort becomes concern for SP Chris Carpenter
Inge clawing way into PT
This ailment, piled on Carp's extensive injury history, may prompt rotisserie players to downgrade him immediately. He's been dealing with it for nearly a week, and in camp he wasn't doing much anyway. The Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss fills us in on testing the righty underwent so that specialists could attempt to determine the source.
Fantasy players shouldn't make drastic changes yet, though. Carpenter has experienced less irritation in the past couple of days. It's fair to wonder how much the 271 1/3 innings, including postseason, he pitched last year will affect him in 2012, but the Cardinals have taken it easy on him.
Let's remember that he'll be 37 in April and has pitched a ton of innings in the past two seasons. The alarm may not be for a severe condition that'll remove him from the schedule for months so much as it is a warning sign that it's becoming more difficult for Carpenter to bounce back from grueling work.
He went through some rough patches last season. The vet is probably still capable of more 1-0 masterpieces, but Carp is probably not a Cy Young Award contender anymore. St. Louis should give more info in the next few days.
INF Brandon Inge excelling at second base
Roto players won't care too much, but this could be important. First, obviously, much of whether it matters hinges on whether the Tigers will stick with Miguel Cabrera at the hot corner. He has plenty of doubters, but he lost a lot of weight and is spending extra time on his D. Reviews are positive.
Detroit's lineup is stacked, 1 through 7. Inge plays excellent defense - almost anywhere, it seems - so the club may very well be willing to stick him at 8 or 9 for the sake of his glove. Ryan Raburn isn't a good defender, either at second base or in left field, but he's easier to hide in left.
Ramon Santiago, a switch-hitter, is also in the mix at second, although he's likely to be the utility man. Still, Raburn may need to come by his plate appearances via left field more so than second base, and that could mean strictly platooning. That would reduce the price but also make him less enticing to AL players.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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