If you had to write a fill-in-the-blank to summarize fantasy baseball in 2016, it would look something like this: “________ hit 30 HRs in 2016, a career high. He will hit half that amount in 2017.”
2017’s fill-in-the-blank is going to look like this: “_________ was placed on the 10-day disabled list.”
Last week I was astonished to only have nine players hit the disabled list. This week, the injury bug came back with a vengeance — there are a whopping 20 players who have been added to this dubious club. Some of them are really earning those DL frequent flier miles.
This week there are six outfielders and nine starting pitchers mentioned in this article. Rather than try to find six healthy outfielders and nine healthy starting pitchers to add I am going to list a few shallow, standard and deep league targets you can add as fill ins. I’ll add this list at the bottom of the article.
As always, if you’ve got a league specific question, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASA-quick.
Ryan Braun, OF, Left Calf Tightness
PEDs are a helluva drug. Enhancing your body past mere mortal limits takes a toll once you come down. This injury has been lingering since May 10th and this is his second DL stint with this injury. There haven’t been any updates on a return date for Braun. Stash or Trash: Stash. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Lonnie Chisenhall, OF, Concussion
Can’t seem to find when or where this concussion occurred but Slipknot was in Cincinatti during the Indians two-game series so rock on Chizzy! Stash or Trash: Indians manager Terry Francona is saying this concussion is mild and that Lonnie is just groggy. But unless you’re in a deep AL-only league you can trash him. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Danny Duffy, SP, Strained Lat
Out 6 to 8 weeks. Duffy’s 3.54 ERA so far is only .03 off from last year. However, his K/9 is down almost two full strikeouts from last year. Much of this could have to do with the two miles-per-hour that seem to have vanished from his fastball over night. Stash or Trash: Stash. Despite the warning signs from his K/9 and declining velocity Duffy’s numbers are on par with last year. Even his FIP of 3.61 is down from last season’s 3.88. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Concussion, Neck Strain, Shoulder Soreness
Ellsbury’s annual DL trip is here! Boy, what a mirage 2011 looks like, huh? 32 HRs?! He has 36 over his last four seasons! This year has actually been a pretty nice season for Ellsbury so far, so this one stings. Ellsbury is eligible to come back today, but he is still suffering through some symptoms. I could see him coming back Tuesday, June 6th as the Yankees start a three game homestand against the Red Sox. Stash or Trash: Stash. Ellsbury has 10 HR/25 SB potential and was on his way to those numbers. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Amir Garrett, SP, Hip Inflammation
We all got just a little too hyped over Amir’s 1.83 ERA over his first three starts. Since then he’s made 5 starts with a 9.24 ERA. Stash or Trash: Trash until he sorts his life out. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Kendall Graveman, SP, Shoulder Soreness
What?! An extremely injury prone guy is on the DL?! Weird! Graveman was putting together a respectable little season so far with his 1.28 WHIP/3.83 ERA, but the allure of his old disabled list stomping grounds was too strong. Stash or Trash: Deeper leagues you can stash. Shallow leagues you can trash. This his second time suffering through shoulder issues and in three months I will definitely be writing the sentence “This is Graveman’s fifth time suffering through shoulder issues.” For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
AJ Griffin, SP, Intercoastal Strain
What?! An extremely injury prone guy is on the DL?! Weird! Griffin has some up and down starts on his 2017 resume, but a 6.41 FIP shows me that it should’ve been more downs. Stash or Trash: Trash. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Jesse Hahn, SP, Triceps Strain
What?! An extremely injury prone guy is on the DL?! Weird! Hahn has eerily similar numbers to Graveman: 1.29 WHIP/3.81 ERA. Hahn is already pitching in rehab games and is schedule to come back June 6th. Stash or Trash: Depends on your pitching needs. If you have multiple guys on this list then you could stash him. However he’s only 8.2% owned so you should be able to safely trash him without having him swiped by another owner. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Hamstring Strain
Despite a .239 batting average, Kinsler is 5th overall among second basemen with 30 runs scored. Kinsler has already missed time with this injury so it was smart of the Tigers to shut it down to let it heal. Kinsler does have a lot of mileage on those legs and this might just be father time catching up to him. Stash or Trash: Stash. Kinsler had a fantastic 2016 and if he is given time to recover he could bounce back a bit. Fill In: Kinsler was giving you tons of runs and [Player]Jed Lowrie[/Player] (34.7%) is doing the same. He’s actually in 4th in runs amongst second basemen. Lowrie obviously is injury prone, but right now he’s hitting 3rd in the Athletics lineup and has been getting on base and scoring runs. He has even shown a little pop with six HR’s. His career high is 16 and that is easily attainable if he stays healthy.
Manuel Margot, OF, Strained Calf
Margot was a sleeper NL Rookie of the Year candidate going into this season (I see you @Mike Maher.) Margot has been unspectacular so far with a 16/4/13/5/.259 line. It is a little concerning that this is a calf injury on a guy known for his speed, but we’ll have to wait and see. Stash or Trash: Stash. There isn’t any update on how long he’ll be out, but it is going to be longer than the 10-day minimum. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
James McCann, C, Hand Laceration
The other catcher named McCann got hit in his hand by a Mike Fiers fastball and was apparently bleeding like a stuck pig. Stash or Trash: Trash. Despite his seven HRs, James McCann shouldn’t have been owned in any league smaller than a 14-team AL-only league. Fill In: Consider this your stash [Player]Tom Murphy[/Player] (3.6%) alert. After weeks of radio silence, Murphy is expected to return for some rehab games within the next week or so. If for some reason you had to rely on McCann, then I recommend stashing Murphy now.
Brandon McCarthy, SP, Knee Tendinitis
What?! An extremely injury prone guy is on the DL?! Weird! I think McCarthy is the mayor of the disabled list at this point. If he somehow reads this post, I’m sure he’ll say something really snarky and barely funny that people will think is hilarious because a baseball player with a personality and sense of humor is hard to come by. Stash or Trash: Stash as he’s expected to make his next start on Thursday. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article. .
Charlie Morton, SP, Lat Strain
What?! An extremely injury prone guy is on the DL?! Weird! I was a huge Charlie Morton fan going into this season and so far he’s been up and down. He has a 4.06 ERA and 65 K’s in 57.2 IP. Unfortunately, this injury is sounding like it might take a while for him to return from. Stash or Trash: I want to say stash until we get more information. If you’re in a shadow league and there are better SP5 options then you can drop him. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Joc Pederson, OF, Concussion
Pederson collided with a brick wall named Yasiel Puig on Tuesday, May 23rd and has been out since with neck and concussion symptoms. As of May 29th, Pederson was still suffering through concussion symptoms so don’t expect to see him when he is due to return on June 1st. Stash or Trash: Some dolt actually picked Joc Pederson to be the 2017 Most Valuable Fantasy Hitter so he’d tell you to stash him. Joc was told to not use any electronics which means this concussion might be pretty serious.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Wrist Sprain
No structural damage, but this is still being considered a severe sprain causing him to miss an estimated two weeks.. Despite his great .292 average, Pedroia has been a disappointment so far with only two HR and one SB. Stash or Trash: Stash based on his name value alone, but Pedroia hasn’t been very ownable in 2017. Fill In: [Player]White Merrifield[/Player] (3.5%.) Whit Merrifield hasn’t hit over 10 HR at any level in his seven year professional career, so don’t bank on this six HR in 121 ABs trend to continue. He does, however, have a career .285 average in the big leagues and in the 18 games he’s played since moving out of the lead off spot and into the bottom third of the Royals lineup he has a .375 average with four HR and four SB. Ride the hot hand.
Mike Trout, OF, Thumb UCL Surgery
Easily the most league altering injury this year, Trout is expected to miss six to eight weeks after requiring surgery on a torn UCL in his thumb. That timeline could see Trout return July 10th at the earliest, July 24th at the latest. Considering Trout is a genetic super freak, he could be healed up even sooner than that. You aren’t going to be able to replace Trout’s beyond elite production with one player, but like when Brad Pitt lost Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi in Moneyball he knew he only had to replace their production in aggregate in the lineup. So take a long hard look at your offense and see where you’re strong without Trout’s stats. Maybe he was your greatest SB threat, but you’ve got Khris Davis and Joey Gallo crushing HR for you. Well, then you need to add Cameron Maybin or Jarrod Dyson to help carry you in SB for two months. Stash or Trash: The most obvious stash of the year. Opportunistic owners in redraft leagues are going to come knocking on your door asking for Trout, be smart when evaluating these trades. If it is a team in the bottom three in your standings and they’re offering you another stud OF, you might want to consider it more than others because they have more ground to make up. If someone from the top three in your standings is making you an offer — well then you could be guaranteeing them a first place finish once Trout returns in July. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Kolten Wong, 2B, Elbow Strain
This injury has been lingering since May 20th which is a huge shame because from April 17th to May 19th Wong actually had a line of: 18/1/11/3/.323 finally living up to the potential we all saw in him in 2014. There is no structural damage and it is looking like he will be able to return as soon as eligible on July 7th. Stash or Trash: Stash. It is pretty safe to assume that his elbow will be fully operational when by July 7th. Fill In: His first name sounds like an old Yiddish word, but [Player]Yolmer Sanchez[/Player] (3.3%) has been swinging a good stick recently. In the month of may he has .337 average and while 1 HR and 3 SB in that time isn’t much to get excited about Yolmer did steal 26 bases in 2012 while still in the minor leagues. There is still some sleeper speed potential here.
Vince Velasquez, SP, Throwing Elbow Flexor Strain
This information is from a Tuesday night start so the info isn’t complete yet. Right now, we know that he has an elbow flexor strain and that his velocity dropped seven miles-per-hour between innings. That’s a recipe for Tommy John surgery. Stash or Trash: Stash for one night only in case there’s a miracle, but get ready to trash him because he’s done for the year. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Alex Wood, SP, Sternoclavicular Strain
What?! An extremely injury prone guy is on the DL?! Weird! It seems like Wood is only going to miss one start this week, but next month it will be two. The month after that? Three. And so on. Stash or Trash: Wood has an awesome 1.69 ERA and 11.3 K/9 so far this season. Stash the crap out of him. For fill in options to pick up, head to the bottom of this article.
Alright, here we go, the OF and SP fill in options.
Shallow Leagues (40-60% owned):
Scott Schebler (57.9%): I actually acquired Schebler in a trade in the Razzball Writers League. I was dead last in runs, HR, RBI and self-respect. Schebler has power, this I know, because his minor league numbers tell me so. Also, over his last nine games he has five HR. Schebler is tied with Bryce Harper amongst outfielders with 15 HR.
Standard Leagues (20-40% owned.)
David Dahl (31.7%): Dahl is creeping back towards a return to the Rockies lineup. That lineup is second among all MLB teams in runs and first in hits. Dahl has the potential to be another potent run producer in that lineup.
Max Kepler (25.6%): I know I’ve recommend him in the past, but Kepler is a derelict man’s Mike Trout. Over Kepler’s previous two weeks he has 9 runs, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB and a .288 AVG.
Deep Leagues (<20% owned.)
Robbie Grossman (2.9%) feels under-owned to me. He’s got a respectable 21/5/17/1/.283 line so far and has been hitting out of the two-hole recently. He’s got potential for 15/15 and with a .283 average? That’s definitely a guy who could help you in deeper leagues.
Shallow Leagues (40-60% owned.)
Steven Matz (52.8%): Now is your time to grab and stash Matz. He pitched five scoreless innings in his first rehab start and is only expected to need one more rehab start before returning. Right now, the Mets need a starter for June 9th so you can expect to see Matz on that date.
Standard Leagues (20-40% owned.)
Matt Moore (30.7%): Moore was probably dropped in your league after putting up a 6.75 ERA in his first six starts. In his five starts since he has a 3.13 ERA. Don’t know what has changed for Moore, but he’s got four straight quality starts against tough lineups like the Cubs, Nationals, and the Reds who are in the top 10 in the MLB in runs. You can’t 100% trust Moore, but in good matchups against teams that are bad against lefties, who can ask for anything Moore?
Brad Peacock (22.6%): Converted reliever Peacock has got K’s for days. In his first two starts, Peacock hasn’t escaped the 5th inning, but in those two starts he got eight K’s a piece. Eight K’s a pieeecccee, I loooooovvvvvee you. Peacock’s pitch count should go up in his next few starts and if he can keep hits hits and walks to a minimum with that elite K-rate Peacock could provide some nice value off the waivers.
Deeper Leagues (<20% owned.)
Jaime Garcia (8.8%): Garcia will probably find himself in this column at least once during this season, but he’s pitching really well right now. In his last two starts, he’s pitched 14.2 innings allowing only 1 ER with 13 K’s. He’s walking almost 4 batters per inning, but while he’s hot you can ride him in good matchups. Jaime has put up good numbers in the past, but he can’t seem to stay healthy over a full season.