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Starter Ranks Update: Carp’s Neck Disc Bulge

St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter returned to the STL from spring training with what are being described as “renewed symptoms” related to the bulging disc in his neck. Props to the St. Louis Post Dispatch for the update.

These symptoms have sidelined Carpenter’s chances of taking the mound on Opening Day for the defending champs. Instead, they’re gonna go with Kyle Lohse. We’re pretty sure that improves their chances of losing their first game of the season by at least 3:1.

The problem with Carp’s injury flare up is that it makes evaluating him for fantasy drafts really, REALLY tough. Consider this – in the BBBA Blogzkrieg slow auction draft (5×5 roto), I (BeeZee) was able to acquire him for only $5 (that’s as much as 60% off ESPN’s suggested AAV). If he’s back in April or even by mid-May and he’s 100% healthy, I got a great value. With each week that goes by after that, however, I start to lose value on that pickup.

I took a risk, and hopefully it works out in my favor. You never like to hear that your high-value pick or sleeper pick is capable of missing a large chunk of time.

After reviewing our 2012 starter rankings, Carpenter’s injury doesn’t seem to kill his value too severely. Maybe we’re optimistic. He drops in our rankings from no. 41 to no. 47. I still like an injured Carp over the likes of Kuroda, Jaime Garcia, Chacin and Ryan “Dumpster” if I had to pick one of the five.

Check out our updated top 75 starters for 2012.

Two players to keep track of in light of Carp’s injury…

  • Roy Oswalt: Yeah, he’s still unsigned. And the general consensus is that the longer Carp is out, the more intriguing Oswalt becomes to the Cards. We had him at no. 60, but he’s now off our list because he’s got no team. If he were to sign soon, though, he easily breaks top 40 starters at peak draft time.
  • Lance Lynn: We analyzed Lynn over the weekend, and it looks like he will start the season in the rotation for the Cards. He doesn’t break the top 75 starters and he doesn’t deserve a draft pick unless you’re in a Cards superfan league. However, he might be worth a watch in a NL-only out the gate.

When do you think Chris Carpenter will be back? Let us know in the comments.

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