The St. Louis Cardinals’ camp has been surrounded with uncertainty since day one with Adam Wainwright’s season ending injury. And now, promoted staff ace Chris Carpenter is showing signs of concern as he continues to struggle with the same hamstring he aggravated earlier this week.
Hamstrings are a fickle muscle in the sense that they can linger around like your in-laws at Christmas, or simply run their course in little time.
The latter does not appear to be the case with Carpenter, which should raise some concerns for fantasy owners who have not yet participated in their draft day.
The current news from around the web is that Carpenter felt a “twinge” in the hamstring during a bullpen session, reports Joe Strauss on Twitter.
The report—with more detail—has been confirmed on stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com with a comment of Carpenter that struck me:
"I'm used to coming back from injuries. I'll be fine," Carpenter said. He was more intent on keeping his arm strong than recovering. "That's why throwing today was important. Just to keep my arm progressing."
This was a bit of concern since Carpenter basically acknowledged there is some underlying issues that could affect his opening day assignment, an assignment he now has less than three weeks to be ready for.
For fantasy baseball fans who have not drafted yet, there are only two options: pass on Carpenter, or take a chance on him.
For where Carpenter is in ADP (96.91), and given his average rank among pitchers (24 which is right where we have him ranked in our starting pitchers rankings) there comes a small level of apprehension in deciding to pass on him.
When you take a look at the four pitchers near Carpenter—two above him (Ryan Dempster and Trevor Cahill) and two below John Danks and Clay Buchholz) in the rankings and ADP we find similar stats, but not enough to support any of them as a replacement.
As you can see there is some limited liability with each player as a replacement for Chris Carpenter:
- Dempster can bring the heat but has a penchant for walks, and not the greatest pen in the world.
- Cahill has a lot of promise, but little experience, and isn’t known for throwing strikes.
- Buchholz is another promising arm, but isn’t quite as reliable as Carpenter.
- Danks is serviceable, but not quite at Carpenter’s level yet.
Now if you disagree—and feel any of these specific players could be a nice replacement—then go with your gut feeling, but if you are looking to solve for ‘X’ here, and want a suggestion on who to go with, I would suggest Roy Oswalt.
In 10 years, Oswalt is clearly the same type of pitcher—if not a little better—than Carpenter that is.
|3.18 ERA||7.4 K/9||2.1 BB/9||8.6 H/9||1.184 WHIP||.300 BABiP||10 years|
In addition to his stat line, he plays for the Philadelphia Phillies who are stacked at the plate, and have a reliable bullpen.
And to finish off, Roy Oswalt’s ADP (106) has him at a nice value, if you decide to take the cautious road and pass on Chris Carpenter.