Now that the 2012 regular season is officially underway (for two teams, anyway), let’s round up some first base news from around the league. Here are my preseason 1B tiers from last week, just in case you missed it.
Mike Carp | Mariners | Owned: 24% Yahoo! and 74.3% ESPN
You might have missed it while you were sleeping last night, but we have our first regular season injury of 2012. The Mariners placed Carp on the DL yesterday with a shoulder sprain, adding Carlos Peguero to the roster in his place. Carp qualified as a 1B this year but was a much better value in the OF, so losing him shouldn’t create any 1B problems for fantasy owners. If it does, you likely have bigger problems in the first place. Peguero, by the way, is not rosterable.
Adam Lind | Blue Jays | Owned: 81% Yahoo! and 100% ESPN
Lind’s lower back trouble resurfaced earlier this week and figures to keep him on the sidelines until this weekend at the very least. Similar back problems cost him basically all of May last year as well. If the problem lingers into the regular season, the Jays are likely to roll with Edwin Encarnacion at first base and give either Rajai Davis or Ben Francisco regular turns at DH.
Encarnacion was worth a roster spot even before Lind’s injury, but Davis could become more fantasy relevant if he does indeed see more playing time. He’s 30+ steals waiting to happen, and a little BABIP love could have his average back into the .280-ish range. Francisco probably still isn’t worth a roster spot.
Brandon Allen | Athletics | Owned: 1% Yahoo! and 0.6% ESPN
Allen was officially dubbed the Athletics starting first baseman just before they opened the season in Japan two days ago, but if this morning’s game was any indication, Kila Ka’aihue could see some at-bats against left-handers despite being left-handed himself. Allen does have serious pop though, and could be useful if you watch the pitching matchups and start him against righties with bad changeups/platoon splits. He did lose his outfield eligibility last year, and the lack of flexibility definitely hurts.
Nick Johnson | Orioles | Owned: 0% Yahoo! and 0.2% ESPN
It’s been nearly two years since Johnson last hurt his wrist and was baseball relevant, in both fantasy and reality. He’s healthy this spring — haven’t we heard that before? — and appears to have the inside track for the DH job in Baltimore. It’s tough to expect anything out of Johnson given his long injury history, but we do know one thing for sure: if he stays on the field, he’s going to get on base. A lot. Keep him in the back of your mind early in the season. If Johnson manages to avoid another injury for the first few weeks, he could be a sneaky nice pickup in OBP leagues.
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