Ladies can’t resist a good “stash”
It’s almost June, and that means that we’re nearing the end of the first two months of the baseball season. Finding quality free agents on the waiver wire is becoming increasingly more difficult and the guys who had their heads up their butts in the first couple of weeks are no longer falling prey to “buy low” trade offers. Since these options have been exhausted by many owners in competitive leagues, one of the tried-and-true ways to bolster your roster is to stash away injured players. Anyone that has a “DL” tag next to their name may not come up as often on owners’ fantasy radars, and tucking these guys away for safe keeping can be a very sneaky way to win your league.
The most common way for fantasy owners to search for free agents is to look under recent stats (last week, last 14 days, etc.), and when a player hasn’t played within that time frame or hasn’t even suited up the entire season, they won’t come up under most searches. Keeping tabs on guys that are recovering from surgeries or are in rehab stints can give you a leg up on the competition. Below is a list of players who are currently on the disabled list that I feel my warrant an add. They are accompanied by a number scale (1-10), 10 meaning “stop what you’re doing and pick him up now”, and 1 meaning that you might want to take a wait-and-see approach. All the suggested players are under 75% owned in both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues.
Mark Teixeira, 1B (Yankees): The Yankees have had numerous injuries this year, and yet still have the 2nd best record in the AL. Curtis Granderson returned to the lineup last week and now it looks like Teixeira may be the next of the fallen to come back to the Bronx. The power-hitting first baseman partially tore a tendon sheath in his wrist back in April and opted to rehab it instead of undergoing surgery. The fact that he could aggravate the injury at any moment and that he is also known for having notoriously slow starts (.239 average in April) makes him somewhat of a risk. That being said, the power potential he provides (33 HR/106 RBI average in the last 4 years) makes him a must add in all formats. He’s shooting to make it back on the field in early June. (Rating: 10)
Corey Hart, 1B/OF (Brewers): Prior to the season Hart underwent knee surgery. He was expected to come off the DL when first eligible on May 30, but that’s looking like it may get delayed a little. He has recently started running, which he called “awkward”, but since that seems to be one of the last steps in his rehab before playing live games, an early to mid-June time frame looks pretty optimistic for his return to Beer City. He has quietly become one of the more consistent home run hitter out there, posting 30, 26 and 31 homers over the last three seasons. His addition to a potent Brewers lineup will only add more offensive statistics to their totals. After playing the second half of 2012 at first base, he now owns 1B/OF dual eligibility, which is also a very nice commodity for fantasy owners. (Rating: 10)
Aaron Hill, 2B (Diamondbacks): After a career year in 2012, a year in which he hit for the cycle not once, but TWICE, Hill was off to another good start in 2013. Unfortunately, that was derailed by a pitch from the Pirates James McDonald that broke a bone in his left hand. He was initially supposed to miss 4-6 weeks, but the injury is not healing as quickly as expected. Even with the less than positive news of a delayed return to the desert, he’s still a great add with the dearth of talent at 2B this year. (Rating: 9)
Adam Eaton, OF (Diamondbacks): Coming into the year, Eaton was listed among the top young players in the game and was expected to man centerfield for the Snakes on Opening Day. A sprained left elbow has prevented him from playing so far, but he is nearing the end of a rehab assignment and could be back in the bigs by the end of this week. He’s batted .340 and stolen 98 bases in 319 minor league games, which can be very useful to owners looking for a player with a good OBP and speed. (Rating: 8)
Gordon Beckham, 2B (White Sox): Beckham has been raking in his rehab games and is scheduled to come off the DL this weekend. It’s great news for fantasy owners, as the White Sox will square off against the measly Marlins. In a year where middle infield help can be hard to find, Beckham could be a sly pickup. The former University of Georgia product is still only 26-years old and has shown to have some nice pop, hitting 16 HRs last season and 14 in his rookie year. That power potential could prove to be very valuable down the line. (Rating: 5)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (Yankees): He’s already started running, and while he’s not due back until July, he can still provide pop if you can afford to stash him. I wouldn’t drop an everyday player for him, but 12-16 HRs isn’t an unreasonable expectation from A-Rod once he returns. (Rating: 4)
Logan Morrison, 1B/OF (Marlins): While the average may never be there, LoMo can provide some nice power. In 2011 he smashed 23 HRs and the hitting-deficient Marlins will try to get him in their lineup every day. Even though he won’t play any outfield this year, his eligibility there and at 1B is a nice asset to have. Now he’s just gotta maintain his health and stay out of Twitter jail! (Rating: 4)
Cameron Maybin, OF (Padres): A perennial “breakout” candidate, Maybin has always possessed the tangibles to be a star, but injuries and constant shortcomings have tarnished some of his appeal. He is still recovering from a wrist injury, which is something that can easily flare up again, but when he returns he will provide steals and runs. In his best season (2011), he batted .264 with 9 HRs, 40 RBIs and 40 SBs, so the potential is there. (Rating: 3)
Others hitters on the disabled list to keep an eye on: Derek Jeter, Josh Reddick, Justin Maxwell, Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Ludwick, Jayson Werth, Rajai Davis
By Seth Klein (@SethDaSportsMan)
Seth is a writer for FantasyTrade411.com, specializing in fantasy baseball, basketball and football. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, but has been a die-hard New York Giants, Knicks and Yankees fan since birth. He has been playing fantasy sports since 1999 and has since developed a real knack for daily streaming and “working the wire”, which can be attributed to his keen analysis of in-season trends. He is also a writer BucketsOverBroadway.com, a New York Knicks website, and you can find him gracing the airwaves on @ThaSPORTSKRIB, a weekly show dedicated to sports. Seth attended the University of Arizona, where he majored in “tardiness”, and is now a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. Feel free to send all your fantasy sports questions to Seth on Twitter: @SethDaSportsMan