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1B Stock Watch: Pena & Morse

The season is barely more than a week old, but let’s quickly take stock of two first baseman headed in opposite directions…

Stock Up: Carlos Pena | Rays | Owned: 74! Yahoo! and 100.0% ESPN

Moving back to Tropicana Field after a one-year stint in Wrigley Field figures to take a bite out of Pena’s numbers over the long haul, but the first week back in the old digs has been a productive one (.536 wOBA in 22 PA). What I like most about Pena’s situation is his new batting order spot, second behind Desmond Jennings and ahead of Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce, and Ben Zobrist. It’s a prime RBI and runs scored spot, where his power and patience will play well. We know Pena won’t hit for average and his platoon split is an issue as well, but if he can’t get back over 100 RBI this season, he might never do it again.

Stock Down: Mike Morse | Nationals | Owned: 94% Yahoo! and 99.4% ESPN

A lat strain kept Morse on the shelf while the rest of the team broke camp, and the diagnosis has only gotten worse. Morse is now in “total shutdown mode” according to GM Mike Rizzo, and he won’t do anything for six weeks. If all goes well, maybe he’s back in the lineup in eight weeks, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Like oblique strains, lat issues can linger if not properly healed. Adam LaRoche‘s job is safe for the foreseeable future, and Morse remains will remain a question mark until June.