Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you candid ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. If they're available in any of your fantasy baseball games as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars, you'll know whether they make the cut.
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Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals
Injuries create opportunities in the big leagues, and Carpenter has his shot in St. Louis. Lance Berkman couldn't avoid the disabled list after aggravating his Grade 1 left calf strain in Wednesday's contest. The 36-year-old dealt with the same ailment in 2009, which also required a DL stint. Given Berkman's age, it wouldn't be a shock to see him miss extended time. Matt Adams could factor in if this becomes a long-term issue.
Carpenter has earned the right to replace Berkman at first, though. The former minor league third sacker is hitting at a clip of .375-1-11 in just 24 at-bats. He filled in for the Big Puma in all of the starts he missed at the end of last week, through the weekend and when Berkman exited the game Wednesday.
Super utility fill-in
He's shown the skills that mirror a very consistent and productive bat in the minors the past two years; he hit .300 or better at both Double-A Springfield in 2010 and Triple-A Memphis in 2011, totaling 24 homers (12 each year) and 123 RBIs in that time. Good plate discipline, along with a solid contact rate and an improving power profile, make him a valuable asset in OBP affairs. Hitting in the middle of the Red Birds' lineup should help, too.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Consider
Eduardo Nunez, SS/3B, New York Yankees
Speedster and left fielder Brett Gardner hit the 15-day DL Wednesday night with a bruised left elbow and strained arm muscle after making a diving catch in the ball game Tuesday. The Yanks will fill his spot in left with a combination of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones, who were both already receiving decent playing time - Ibanez as the DH and Jones in a platoon with Gardner.
Ibanez and Jones will likely come together to form a platoon in left in Gardner's absence, with Ibanez facing right-handers and Jones facing southpaws. However, both aging vets' decline in speed, range and defensive prowess opens up the possibility for Nunez to try his hand at fly catching. Joe Girardi knows that both Ibanez and Jones are defensive liabilities, and the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron and Mark Feinsand reveal that Girardi is indeed comfortable with Nunez patrolling the outfield.
Nunez, who is eligible at short, third base, and in some leagues, second base, has the youth and upside that both Ibanez and Jones lack. He was being used to spell both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in the infield, and now he could be used at DH, or as mentioned, in the outfield. The 24-year-old Dominican has the speed to contribute stolen bases, and he won't hurt your BA. Keep in mind that Gardner didn't suffer any breaks or structural damage, so the team is expecting him, at least right now, to miss the minimum of 15 days.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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