According to the Fantasy Doctor’s Dr. Selene Parekh, the first baseman will likely return to action in one or two weeks following therapy and rehabilitation. The worst case scenario is that the issue stems from structural damage, but Dr. Parekh believes that is unlikely. The injury does not appear to put his Opening Day availability at risk.
Paul Goldschmidt and Eric Hosmer will get all the time at first base as they can handle on Team United States in the World Baseball Classic.
In addition to having lower back issues, Carpenter also tore his oblique last summer. General Manager John Mozeliak confirmed that Carpenter will be the team’s starting first baseman in 2017 after most of his career at second and third base. The position change will put Carpenter in a better position to remain healthy.
His draft stock will not be lowered due to this minor injury, but Carpenter’s absence will allow other players to step into the lineup.
Matt Adams is the Cardinal’s backup first baseman and will see plenty of time in the lineup during Carpenter’s absence. Adam’s had 16 homes runs and 49 RBI’s last season in just 297 at-bats. He has the power, but durability has been an issue for him in his career. He has suffered through quad and shoulder injuries early in his career. However, he entered the Cardinals spring training complex 30 pounds lighter than he was in 2016. Perhaps losing weight can help his durability issues.
The multi-positional Jedd Gyorko could also get an extended look while Carpenter is shelved. Gyorko seems to be the odd man out, as far as starting infield spots are concerned. But more at-bats may be coming his way. Keep in mind that Gyorko did have 23 home runs in the second half of 2016. Only Brian Dozier had more. However, he will not flirt with that kind of production again unless a Cardinals infielder is out for extended time.
There is no need to make any serious fantasy baseball decisions in light of the injury news. St. Louis is just making sure the three-time all star is ready for Opening Day.