St Louis Cardinals

Fantasy Watch: Chris Carpenter is Healthy and Valuable

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Pitcher Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2009 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Ari KramerSenior Analyst IIApril 9, 2009

Prior to today, Chris Carpenter had made four regular season starts since the end of 2006. The 2005 National League Cy Young winner spent the majority of the previous two seasons on the disabled list.

Players that have penchants for getting injured tend to scare off fantasy owners—perhaps that is why Carpenter is owned in only 86 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Although he has been sidelined with arm problems, Carpenter has shown that he is healthy and ready to play. The 33-year-old had a very strong spring training, and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his one-hit, seven strikeout victory.

Carpenter's control was not much of an issue today—he threw 61 of his 92 pitches for strikes and only walked two batters.

Grab Carpenter if he is available in your league—you can count on him for strikeouts, WHIP, and wins as long as the Cards' offense comes through. Because of his history of injuries, don't drop anyone that is a team's ace, or simply a notoriously reliable fantasy player.

If you have a void that you can fill, go with Carpenter. If you have a late-round pitcher that you can drop, go with Carpenter.

He's healthy and looks good—even if it was against the Pirates.

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