Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Lance Berkman's ACL not torn, Matt Adams to fill in

by Keith Hernandez on May 21, 2012 @ 17:30:16 PDT's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball leagues. Are they trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

St. Louis Cardinals 1B Matt Adams
Adams in The Show ... to stay?

So yeah, Lance Berkman is injury-prone. The 36-year-old first baseman needs surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and is expected to be out somewhere between six and eight weeks. On the bright side: He escaped a torn ACL, which he was originally believed to have. This is after he missed three-plus weeks with a strained left calf.

Berkman knows his body pretty well at this point in his career, and he's not as optimistic he'll be back in that six- to eight-week timetable. He's a notorious slow healer, too, so it wouldn't be a shock to see his recovery linger well past that mark.

The Big Puma's resurgence in 2011 was fueled by a healthy season, and he most definitely benefited from the presence of Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols in the lineup. You'll be forced to ride him out in a DL spot in NL-only formats, but in a shallow mixed league, we wouldn't blame you for dumping him in favor of better options if you don't have space on your injured list.

Matt Adams, the team's highest touted hitting prospect, has been summoned to the bigs for the first time after hitting .340 with nine HRs and 27 RBIs in 37 games with Triple-A Memphis. He's an imposing lefty stick at the plate that has plus power and the tools to hit for average; he's a career .318 hitter in three full minor league seasons.

Adams Carpenter
10-tm mixed Pass Watch
12-tm mixed Watch Acquire
15-tm mixed Consider Acquire
NL-only Acquire Acquire

What about Matt Carpenter, though? Another lefty-hitting first sacker, Carpenter performed admirably at first base during Berkman's first DL stint and has a slash line of .280/.345/.500 in 113 plate appearances. Mike Matheny loves Carpenter for his versatility; he can play the hot corner to spell David Freese and has also spent some time in right field.

Adams, 23, doesn't figure to sit, though, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz thinks Adams will see plenty of at-bats now that Berkman is out for a long period of time. GM John Mozeliak even suggests that Adams is ready for a full-time trial at the major league level: "But the question is, would he get enough playing time in the big leagues if we get him up here. We wouldn't have brought him up unless we planned to play him a lot."

Allen Craig (hamstring) is expected to serve in a platoon with Adams at first base when he returns from the DL since Adams hasn't hit southpaws all that well. Count on Adams playing every day at first until Craig is back and Carpenter serving in more of a utility and pinch-hitting role. As a result, Adams should be your first target over Carpenter in deep mixed systems.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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