Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Reality Check: Prioritizing those DL spots

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

For five days, you caught a glimpse of what could have been, your patience and foresight rewarded with enough production to shake up the standings.

Hanley Ramirez was back, and he was proving well worth the wait.

"Ha-ha!" you laughed, more in triumph than amusement. "This is what I was waiting for! This is what I knew would happen! My genius knows no bounds!"

Yes, for five glorious days, you were like a super villain whose super plan had gone all too right. But as you basked in your radiance, forces of nature were at work --forces small and secretive enough to conceal your impending downfall.

Ramirez was healthy for a full five days, and then with one tug of the hamstring, he wasn't.

Which will bring us back to doh!

On the one hand, you can't be too disappointed. Ramirez had beaten his initial timetable by about a month, so if this new injury costs him that much time, you're right back where you started. On the other hand, you've operated under the new timetable for weeks now. You've already had other villainous thoughts and enacted other villainous schemes, such as gobbling up Brandon Beachy to fill your now-vacant DL slot.

Oh yes, wicked indeed.

Or maybe you hadn't engineered something so devious since Draft Day, when you selected Curtis Granderson and Corey Hart late, anticipating their eventual returns.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but that was before Jered Weaver broke his elbow, Zack Greinke broke his collarbone, Jose Reyes sprained his ankle and Michael Bourn cut his finger.

Playing the victim now, are we?

Maybe that maniacal laughter that accompanied Ramirez's performance wasn't in response to how good you had it, but how bad you needed it. Though stashing two or three injured players in the hope of a big payout later is typically a sinister strategy, any more than that can become burdensome. You need to have something in the way of depth.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Naturally, if you find yourself with four or five high-end DL players, which is increasingly likely with Ramirez, Roy Halladay and Andrew Bailey joining the ranks, you could try trading one of them, but you'd have to expect lowball offers in return, especially if your wicked ways are known throughout the land.

In the absence of legitimate offers, painful as it may be, prioritization is your only recourse. To that end, I've created a rank list. Of all the players on the DL, these are the 25 most worth owning in Fantasy. Ideally, they should all be owned, but at least now picking and choosing isn't so evil.

That's your thing, after all.

1. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins

Injury: Strained hamstring
Projected Return: Late May

Stanton was the highest drafted of all of these players and deserves more time to find himself, especially since the rest of the Marlins lineup has only recently come around. A couple weeks' wait is nothing for a player who could potentially be your team's best.

2. Jered Weaver, SP, Angels

Injury: Broken elbow
Projected Return: Late May

Weaver broke his non-throwing elbow, so it's not like he'll need to learn to pitch all over again. Now that the fracture has had time to heal, he should get back to being the Angels' ace within a few weeks.

3. Zack Greinke, SP, Dodgers

Injury: Broken collarbone
Projected Return: Early June

I'll stick with the initial estimate of eight weeks to differentiate between him and Weaver, but with some reports suggesting he could actually return in late May, I'm looking to buy low on Greinke wherever I can.

4. Michael Bourn, OF, Indians

Injury: Lacerated finger
Projected Return: This weekend

Bourn's return is imminent. Considering he's had the stitches out for close to a week now, he should probably already be back. He may not be as high-end as some of the players that follow, but with him so close to being useful again, you'd be crazy to part with him now.

5. Hanley Ramirez, 3B/SS, Dodgers

Injury: Strained hamstring
Projected Return: Late May

The severity of Ramirez's hamstring injury is less than clear. Ramirez thinks it's no big deal, which would suggest a two-week timetable. Manager Don Mattingly thinks it is, which would suggest more like a four-week timetable. I'll split the difference and say three weeks, but he's worth the wait either way.

6. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves

Injury: Appendectomy
Projected Return: Late May

That late-May timetable is perhaps overly cautious considering Heyward has already begun hitting. Of course, maybe the extra time will help him get his swing right. His early struggles are the only reason he's not higher.

7. Johnny Cueto, SP, Reds

Injury: Sore oblique
Projected Return: Mid-May

A sore oblique doesn't sound as bad as a strained oblique, but nobody's forcing the Reds to use precise terminology. The injury is a fresh one -- he originally went on the DL with a lat issue -- which makes Cueto's timetable less than certain. I predict he'll be back before Weaver and Greinke, though.

8. Josh Johnson, SP, Blue Jays

Injury: Triceps inflammation
Projected Return: Late May

Johnson's sudden trip to the DL last week wasn't because his triceps inflammation got worse, but because the Blue Jays opted for a more cautious approach. He isn't as reliable as a Weaver or Greinke, but he has that kind of potential.

9. Curtis Granderson, OF, Yankees

Injury: Broken forearm
Projected Return: Mid-May

Granderson, who broke his forearm early in spring training, needs about 50 at-bats before returning and has already begun getting them at extended spring training. His expected return is fairly projectable at this point. Unfortunately, his expected production is not.

10. Jose Reyes, SS, Blue Jays

Injury: Sprained ankle
Projected Return: Early July

Still in a walking boot, Reyes likely has months to go. A post-All-Star break return is more than feasible. Of course, even if you have to play short-handed for that length of time, his production at a weak position is worth it.

11. Aaron Hill, 2B, Diamondbacks

Injury: Broken hand
Projected Return: Late May

After breaking his hand in mid-April, Hill is already halfway home. Even if you don't totally buy into his 2012 numbers, you should be willing to wait and see by this point.

12. Corey Hart, 1B/OF, Brewers

Injury: Torn meniscus in knee
Projected Return: May 30

Most Fantasy owners drafted Hart anticipating a late-April return, but if nothing else, the Brewers' abundance of caution makes his projected return abundantly clear. When healthy, he's as steady as power hitters come.

13. Brett Anderson, SP, Athletics

Injury: Sprained ankle
Projected Return: Mid-May

Anderson was able to pitch 5 1/3 innings of relief on his bum ankle back on April 29, so I suspect his DL stint will be relatively short. He may not be an ace when healthy, but he's too good to stick on waviers.

14. Adam Eaton, OF, Diamondbacks

Injury: Sprained elbow
Projected Return: Late May

When a UCL sprain becomes a UCL tear, Tommy John surgery is usually the only recourse, so Eaton is on dangerous ground. He's already begun hitting and throwing, though, so I'd like to see my favorite preseason sleeper through to the end.

15. Matt Garza, SP, Cubs

Injury: Strained lat
Projected Return: Mid-May

For as close as Garza is to returning, he should be owned in more than 67 percent of leagues. His WHIP and strikeout rate were ace-caliber at the time of his injury last year, and he may need only one more rehab start.

16. Mark Teixeira, 1B, Yankees

Injury: Torn tendon sheath in wrist
Projected Return: Late May

Teixeira's place on this list might be low for some people's liking, but his injury has the makings of an eternal headache. Not only could it still cause season-ending surgery, but a lengthy -- perhaps even on-the-job -- rehab stint seems likely. Some years he needs 150 at-bats to find his timing.

17. Roy Halladay, SP, Phillies

Injury: Shoulder inflammation
Projected Return: Early June

We don't know how serious Halladay's injury is yet, but as long as it's something that will heal on its own, which is a logical assumption at this point, he's well worth stashing. Remember: He had seemingly turned the corner with three straight great starts before his shoulder started acting up.

18. Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics

Injury: Strained hamstring
Projected Return: Mid-May

Crisp was the top hitter in Fantasy at the time of his injury, but injuries are kind of the norm for him. Plus, he was clearly performing over his head power-wise. Even with the short timetable, he doesn't deserve the leeway of the legitimate high-end types.

19. Brandon Beachy, SP, Braves

Injury: Tommy John surgery
Projected Return: Mid-June

Beachy's long road back from Tommy John surgery is nearing its end, and in case you've forgotten, he was emerging as an ace at this time last year. He probably has six or seven rehab starts ahead of him, but boy, you'd like to stash him if you could.

20. Andrew Bailey, RP, Red Sox

Injury: Sore biceps
Projected Return: Late May

Bailey was looking like a top-10 closer during his time filling in for Joel Hanrahan, but now that Hanrahan is filling in for him, the Red Sox could easily go back to their original plan of Bailey in the setup role.

21. Ryan Madson, RP, Angels

Injury: Tommy John surgery
Projected Return: Late June

Late June might be a generous timetable considering CBSSports.com Senior Baseball Columnist Scott Miller recently said on Fantasy Baseball Today that he didn't expect Madson back before the All-Star break, but the right-hander threw a successful bullpen session Saturday. He's the definitive closer when he returns.

22. Michael Pineda, SP, Yankees

Injury: Torn rotator cuff
Projected Return: Late June

This timetable is a wild guess considering not every pitcher makes any sort of comeback from a torn rotator cuff, but reports of Pineda throwing in the mid-90s in extended spring training have me cautiously optimistic.

23. Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B, Yankees

Injury: Sore back
Projected Return: Mid-May

Relatively speaking, Youkilis' injury is no big deal, but relatively speaking, neither is he. At this stage of his career, he's a serviceable corner infielder in mixed leagues but one you shouldn't be afraid of losing to someone else if you cut him.

24. Colby Lewis, SP, Rangers

Injury: Torn flexor tendon in elbow
Projected Return: Late May

Lewis doesn't have ace potential, and his procedure doesn't assure him a full recovery. Still, if he's close to what he was when he returns in a few weeks, he'll be an asset in wins, WHIP and strikeouts.

25. Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees

Injury: Broken ankle
Projected Return: Late July

The Yankees have all but eliminated the possibility of Jeter returning in the first half. In fact, he might not even return this season. Still, if you have a DL spot to play with, you might as well take a stab at him.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Padres' Myers back at top of the order; Spangenberg makes second start
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) Padres center fielder Wil Myers returned to the leadoff spot Wednesday against the Giants, per the team's official website. Myers received the night off on Wednesday for the second time this season. Cory Spangenberg, who was at the top of the order on Tuesday, was bumped down to the No. 2 hole in the order on Wednesday.

San Diego is considered an underdog (+128) at San Francisco, per VegasInsider.com.


Astros' Hinch says Springer felt 'like he'd been in a car wreck'
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:44 pm ET) After crashing into the right-field wall and leaving the game early on Tuesday, Astros right fielder George Springer will not be in the lineup on Wednesday, manager A.J. Hinch told MLB Network Radio. 

Springer underwent tests for a concussion after leaving in the seventh inning. Hinch said they would get the test results back today. A replacement for Springer in Wednesday's lineup has not yet been announced. 


Giants' Casey McGehee feeling the heat from fans
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:43 pm ET) Giants third baseman Casey McGehee can't quite put things together yet at the plate, leading to manager Bruce Bochy to sit him in Tuesday's game. Over the weekend, McGehee was hit with a smattering of boos when he struck out with a chance to drive home runs. He said he understands, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"I have no hard feelings toward anybody who got on me last night," McGehee said. "There were times last night, if I were up there, I'd have booed myself. I'm looking forward to the day I get things going and the boos turn around."

McGehee, who is hitting .181 with three RBI in 72 at-bats, thinks he's starting to have some better at-bats.

"I felt especially on the weekend I was swinging the bat pretty good," he said. "The trick is to just keep going. I've been down and out, counted out, before. The only way I know how to do it is to keep showing up, preparing, keeping my nose down and keep working.

"I guarantee you there wasn't one person in the stands who was more frustrated or disappointed than myself. It's not easy. (Booing) is not something you look forward to. At the same time, I'm frustrated, too."


Ottavino seeking opinions; Axford, Betancourt could close for Rockies
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:32 pm ET) Rockies closer Adam Ottavino, who could be facing Tommy John surgery, is expected to receive "another opinion or two" on his injured right elbow, manager Walt Weiss told MLB Network Radio on Wednesday.

"Tough news for us and tough news for Adam, we still are getting another opinion or two, but doesn't look great," Weiss said.

Ottavino was placed on the 15-day DL last week with a right triceps injury. Weiss indicated that John Axford and Rafael Betancourt are two options for the Rockies in the ninth inning in Ottavino's absence.

"We have Axford and he's closed a lot of games in this league," Weiss said. "We still have Betancourt as well"


Rockies' Weiss not seeing same production from Carlos Gonzalez
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:32 pm ET) Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez hasn't quite figured things out at the plate to start 2015. Gonzalez is hitting just .200 with two home runs and six RBI in 85 at-bats this season, something manager Walt Weiss is a bit surprised to see happening, according to MLB Network Radio.

"We haven't seen him clicking like he has in the past and we're hoping that's right around the corner," Weiss said.

Gonzalez is currently hitting for the worst average of his career after hitting over .300 in 2012 and 2013.


Rangers' Josh Hamilton expected to start rehab assignment next week
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:26 pm ET) Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled to play his second extended spring training game Wednesday after getting a day off Tuesday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Hamilton, who is currently on the 15-day DL with a shoulder injury, is expected to begin his rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock next week.


D-Backs switch Mark Trumbo, A.J. Pollock in batting order
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:25 pm ET) Diamondbacks right fielder Mark Trumbo will bat second for the first time in his career in Game 1 of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader against Colorado.

Trumbo, who is hitting .083 through his first three games in May, will flip spots in the batting order with A.J. Pollock. Pollock, who is hitting .071 (1 for 14) over his last four games, will bat cleanup.

Arizona is considered an underdog (+115) in Game 1, according to VegasInsider.com.


Cardinals OF Randal Grichuk (back) takes BP Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:24 pm ET) Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk took batting practice on Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list on April 17 with a back injury. The next step for Grichuk is to head to the team's training facility in Jupiter, Fla. to play in extended spring training games starting Friday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Grichuk will likely head to Class A Palm Beach for a quick rehab assignment before returning to St. Louis, though he may be able to skip that step if all goes well. It has not been announced exactly when the Cardinals expect Grichuk to be activated from the DL.


Angels SP Tyler Skaggs (elbow) hoping to throw off mound by July
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:16 pm ET) Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, has been taking a planned week off from his rehab, and will resume throwing on Monday. He's currently slated to start having bullpen sessions by July 1, according to The Orange County Register.

Skaggs made 18 starts for the Halos last season, going 5-5 with a 4.30 ERA before going down with an elbow injury in August. He is not expected to return to a big-league mound until 2016. 


Dodgers' Kenley Jansen could join the club early next week
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:15 pm ET) Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, on the disabled list recovering from left foot surgery, could be ready to join the club as early as next week, depending on how he responds to back-to-back outings, according to the Orange County Register.

Jansen, who tossed a scoreless inning of work on Sunday, will make his third appearance with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday, and is scheduled to pitch again on Thursday.


 
 
 
Rankings