There are players who are chronically injured (misfortune that never seems to stop), and others who are injured chronically (ones that never go away). Lance Berkman is now both.
And his fantasy owners are chronically sweating.
The only thing resembling a towel to dab the perspiration is the fact first base and outfield (Berkman's slots in your lineup) are perhaps the two most replaceable positions in fantasy. The Cardinals have options, too.
Berkman's misfortune with another serious knee injury likely ends his season, if not his career, and fantasy owners are left scrambling for alternatives. Meanwhile, fantasy analysts remark once again what a bad year this is for injuries.
Every year is bad, honestly, and we had to expect the worst with Berkman, a 36-year old who was never a model of health and fitness. We should be thankful there are options.
The Cardinals turn to prospect Matt Adams, someone readily available in most fantasy leagues and one with potential. We are not quite talking Anthony Rizzo potential here, but Adams can do the trick until Rizzo gets his call-up in June. (Matt Carpenter is more of a role player.)
Think of the past six months of Adams' fantasy value in keeper leagues: From under Albert Pujols' shadow, to Lance Berkman insurance, to starter indefinitely on the defending World Series champions. The pop is legit and the opportunity has been laid out before him.
Adams, after hitting .300 with 32 homers, 101 RBI, 80 runs, a .357 on-base percentage and a .566 slugging percentage in Double A last year, got off to a blistering .340-9-27-20 (.375-.603) start through 141 at-bats in Triple A. He might not hit against lefties (just 9-for-38, .237, against them this year), but the Cardinals will eventually have Allen Craig (currently on the DL for a hamstring issue) for that.
If you cannot, or don't want to, turn to Adams, Rizzo or even Carpenter or Craig to fill the Big Puma's ... well, ahem ... Pumas, then here are some options available to you in mixed formats. You are likely too late to the party this year on Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Dunn, Bryan LaHair and Mark Trumbo, but that quartet shows us all how quickly value can come from the depths of the first base position.
Here are some of the first-base options that can be acquired to help your fantasy team come June, or sooner:
If these options are off the board, consider James Loney or Mike Carp. Whatever you do, though, don't say, "Woe is me." Just be lucky you sustained a blow at a position of depth. It is not like you lost yet another closer.