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Early areas of concern

Miguel Montero could be out for one-month or one year.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - While it's still too early to write a player off, there are already guys out there who I am concerned about. True, most of them are due to injury, but its never too early to pay close attention.

Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts was suffering from a back problem throughout spring training which caused me to avoid him on Draft Day despite the fact that he's one of my favorite players.

Now Roberts is on the DL with an abdominal strain. It looks like its going to be "one of those years" for Roberts, who scored 110 runs, hit 16 HR, knocked in 79 runs and stole 30 bases in 2009. On the other hand, maybe the layoff will help both his back and the abs. And maybe Santa will come in July this year...it's just I wouldn't want to bet my fantasy championship on it.

Catcher Miguel Montero had a "breakout" year in 2009 and fantasy owners were looking for even more from him in 2010. Considering he batted .294 in 425 at- bats last season with 61 runs, 16 HR and 59 RBI, people were expecting him to challenge for a top-five fantasy catcher spot. As of Monday the injury is listed as a torn meniscus in the right knee, a three-to-four week injury, but further diagnosis is needed to check for a torn ACL which could turn that one- month estimate into one year.

Lance Berkman's knee worries me more and more every day. What first started on March 2nd as a left-knee contusion, morphed into knee surgery and a start of the season on the DL. He was eligible to come of the disabled list on Saturday, but that day came and went with no signs of his return. The latest talk is after the Astros upcoming six-game road trip, but for as long as he has been sidelined, he'll need more than a couple of games to get back into the swing of things. I'm purely guessing, but I'm thinking this is going to be a season of Berkman being in and out of the lineup with little or no notice of when. That's extremely tough on a fantasy owner.

In spring training I was expecting big things from Cincinnati outfielder Jay Bruce, but his first six games can only be described as a disaster. He's batting .053 (1-for-19) with one walk. I'm not trading yet, with those statistics I couldn't get much anyway, but I am concerned.

Arizona's third baseman Mark Reynolds is batting below the "Mendoza Line" (.150) although he has hit two home runs. He's already got seven strikeouts in 20 at-bats.

Johnny Damon, who went from the New York Yankees to the Detroit Tigers, was already downgraded in my book because of the change in ballparks. Now add in a slow start and I'd probably be looking to move him if I had actually drafted him.

Carlos Lee is off to an ugly start, going 3-for-23 without a single homer or RBI. I'll bet he can't wait until Berkman comes back.

A lot was expected of Texas Rangers leadoff man Julio Borbon. After batting .312 with 19 stolen bases last season in just 157 at-bats near the end of the season, Borbon was expected to provide a lot of speed to a fantasy roster. So far, he hasn't figured out how to get on first base to use his speed, going 1- for-21 with zero base on balls.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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