Fantasy Baseball Diamond Mining: David Wright, B.J. Upton, Desmond Jennings, Salvador Perez

by Tim Heaney on March 14, 2012 @ 13:10:59 PDT


Ready to update your fantasy baseball cheat sheets? Before Diamond Market can sell the players in your rotisserie league's free-agent pool, Fantasy Baseball Diamond Mining polishes them for fantasy baseball drafts. It's time to dig for fantasy baseball sleepers and toss the busts.

3B David Wright has torn abdominal muscle

Tampa Bay Rays OF B.J. Upton
Shaken up but OK for now

A strain of his rectus abdominus, to be exact, on the left side of his ribcage; it sounds worse than it is - every strain is a tear, after all. On Monday he underwent testing that showed no significant damage; he could resume limited work Thursday after the prescribed 48-hour waiting period on the anti-inflammatory injection he received.

Wright played through a stress fracture in his back last year before he received a specific diagnosis, so the timing and careful handling of this instance improve his chances of a proper recovery before opening day.

Keep in mind, though, that this is the same injury that kept Ryan Zimmerman out for 60 games in 2011. He sustained it last spring, aggravated it in early April and missed about two months. Such setbacks are common if this injury isn't treated properly, and often even if they are.

When healthy, Wright sits among the top handful of mixed-league third sackers thanks to his four- or five-category potential. Playing close to a full season with the expected help of Citi Field's renovations sets him up to regain his pop. His spring work will be quite important in the next few weeks; if you're drafting soon, keep in mind you might have to replace a sizeable chunk of at-bats, but if his price slips, he's worth plucking.

Justin Turner or Ronny Cedeno would probably see increased reps if Wright has to miss time, but neither would be a viable mixed-league option.

B.J. Upton, Desmond Jennings collide in outfield

Both Tampa Bay Rays fly catchers were carted off but appeared to be OK in the locker room afterward. Upton, who got the worst of it per reports, said he had a sore back but should be good to go in a few days; Jennings said he could play Thursday.

Watching their condition over the next few days won't hurt, but unless something significant pops up, don't let it deter you from drafting either of them.

Knee surgery coming for C Salvador Perez

There's no timetable for his return from a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, which will go under the knife soon. This doesn't bode well for his status for the Kansas City Royals' opening day, and even in the opening month.

His late-2011 surge was fueled by a bloated BABIP, but Perez was rightfully earning consideration as a mixed No. 2 fantasy backstop; the 21-year-old's contact skills on the farm should translate well to the bigs, and he should eventually add more power. He's worth a pickup in deeper leagues whenever he returns; in ALs, he's a worthy DL stash.

Brayan Pena will likely see starting work if Perez has to miss any regular-season games. The 30-year-old makes frequent contact but has not yet shown a hint of power to go along with it. While that could come as he ages, he merely belongs in AL-only discussions for low-end No. 2 slots.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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