This week’s installment of my Fantasy Baseball Tips focus on a first baseman in the NL Central and a starting pitcher in the AL Central. If you took my advice last week, Detroit’s Rick Porcello rewarded you with his worst start of his career. Despite the clunker, don’t give up on the young Tigers pitcher. On the flip side, Houston outfielder J.D. Martinez turned in a solid week. I still like him a lot.
Matt Carpenter, first baseman, St. Louis Cardinals
It was no shocker when we learned that Lance Berkman would go on the disabled list with a left calf injury. The bigger surprise was that he was able to play all of last year without getting hurt. Big Puma’s injury opens up the door for this 26-year old infielder. Carpenter has eligibility at both corner spots, but he will playing first while Berkman recovers from the injury. So far this season, Carpenter is hitting .282 with 11 RBIs. I do not expect him to be a long-term solution, but he can produce offensively if given a chance. From early indications, he will be given every chance to do just that.
Phillip Humber, starting pitcher, Chicago White Sox
I know, I know…it’s pretty weak to list a guy that just tossed a perfect game Saturday as a pitcher to pick up. Even before Humber’s el perfecto, there were indications that he might be turning the corner. When Humber got to Chicago last season, pitching coach Don Cooper made him ditch his cutter for a slider, and the results have been very promising. He is striking out more batters, and has four pitches he can throw for strikes. While I do not expect him to throw another perfect game, Humber could become the kind of #3 starter that could thrive with the White Sox. He should also have the same effect on your fantasy team. Go get him.
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