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Saturday Morning Baseball Thoughts: Chase Utley, Chris Carpenter, Carl Crawford, Danny Duffy and Others

I was listening to Inside Pitch on SiriusXM MLB Network radio last night and heard Casey Stern and Jim Bowden interview Peter Gammons. Gammons talked about Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford's injury and how he will be brought back slowly from his wrist injury and will return in early May at the EARLIEST. Are we looking at a mid to late May return for Crawford?

Gammons also talked about the neck injury suffered by Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter. He said he read a tweet from's Will Carroll who compared Carpenter's injury to the neck injury Peyton Manning suffered. Carpenter apparently has a nerve-related issue in his neck that and test results will be reviewed by specialists according to Derrick Gould on twitter. We should hear more about the test results this weekend. Here is Carroll's tweet from Friday:

Chris Carpenter's nerve issue … similar to Manning? Doctors will know soon. Remember, Manning played through it a while.

More fantasy baseball thoughts after the jump:

For you Trevor Bauer fans out there. The Dbacks announced yesterday that he has a chance to win a spot in their starting rotation. With Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill solidified in the 1-3 spots in the rotation, he would have to beat out Josh Collmenter or Joe Saunders. I think Collmenter will be the odd man out, especially after he was scratched from his scheduled start yesterday with forearm tightness. Uh oh. Earlier this week, ESPN's Keith Law penned an article saying that Bauer was in mid-season form in his first spring training start, and that he is the DBacks best starter right now. Here is a pic of Bauer arm action, from Adam Wong Studios

Does he have Tommy John Surgery in his future? Wow.

My preseason sleeper Danny Duffy dominated in his two innings of work yesterday, as he struck out 5 of the 6 Reds he faced, including Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. He went for $2 in last weekend's LABR AL-Only draft.

He's a Rockie, but a great story nonetheless. Rockies starter Juan Nicasio looked good in his first spring training start, allowing one run on 5 hits in his 3 innings of work. He is returning after fracturing his vertebrae after getting hit in the head with a line drive last year. Nicasio went for $7 in the LABR NL-Only draft last weekend.

Giants outfielder/first baseman Brandon Belt homered and doubled on Friday and he is hitting well thus far this spring. The Giants have to give him a starting job out of spring training, no? The team went out and traded for center fielder Angel Pagan and left fielder Melky Cabrera this offseason, which was very telling. Why deal for Cabrera when you have Belt available to play left field?

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. announced yesterday that there is no timetable for Chase Utley to begin playing in spring training games. When asked when Utley would play in a game, Amaro responded that the decision would be made by "the club, doctors and Utley." The doctors? I will be interested in seeing how Utley looks when he does actually play in a spring training game.

Speaking of Amaro, he had this to say to Jim Salisbury from Comcast Sports Network Philly yesterday, concerning first baseman Ryan Howard:

Howard’s left foot has been in a walking boot for nearly two weeks and will remain so for at least another "week or more," general manager Ruben Amaro said Friday.

Say Howard is in the boot for another two weeks. When do we see him in game action? June? The Phillies announced they would go with Ty Wigginton and John Mayberry at first base in Howard's absence.