Shane Victorino absence raises fantasy value of Mike Carp, not Jackie Bradley

      March 31, 2014 @ 11:06:16 PDT

The Boston Red Sox learned that Shane Victorino's strained right hamstring was of the Grade 1 (least serious) variety. The injury occurred in exhibition play on Saturday, and the DL move is retroactive to Sunday. Boston replaced the right fielder on the roster with Jackie Bradley, who lost the spring training battle for center field to Grady Sizemore.

The BoSox's lineup to open the 2014 season included Daniel Nava in right field and Mike Carp in left. Nava, a switch hitter, figures to be a fixture against RHPs. Fantasy owners should expect that to be the case for Carp, a LHB, as well. He was likely to get occasional at-bats at first base to give RHB Mike Napoli a rest.

Carp batted .296/.362/.523, with nine home runs and 43 RBIs, in 243 plate appearances for the Red Sox last season. The start of baseball season has fans and fantasy owners alike full of optimism (and the latter focused on flashier names), so he seems unlikely to garner much attention on waivers. Although he can't be expected to repeat that kind of batting average, the 27-year-old is a legit source of fantasy production, even in mixed leagues, in the short term, however.

Boston limited Victorino's ST exposure because he was coming off thumb surgery and then briefly in late March because of mild discomfort in his left side. He received only 31 official plate appearances in exhibition play and has been pondering a change from switch hitting to batting only right-handed.

Victorino, 33, derives part of his fantasy value from his legs, and he's a bit of a slow healer, so his absence could last beyond 15 days. He could get off to a slow start once he's activated, too, because of a choppy spring training and then this delay, especially if his rehab stint is short.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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