Which injured players are worth keeping?

Should you keep CC Sabathia? (USATSI)
Should you keep CC Sabathia? (USATSI)

How long can you afford to hold onto an injured player? It's a question most Fantasy owners consider multiple times per season. There are a number of factors that go into the decision. When will the player return? Will the injury impact his immediate performance? Are there better players currently on the wire? All are legitimate questions, and stand to complicate the issue. Given the flurry of early injuries this year, the problem seems more relevant than ever. So, which players are actually worth holding?

Let's start things off by saying you shouldn't cut your obvious studs. You're taking the roster spot hit with guys like Cliff Lee and Andrew Cashner . Also, this piece will focus on players returning in a few weeks. You aren't going to cut Josh Hamilton now that he's actually days away from a return. Instead, we're going to focus on some questionable guys who are still expected to miss a few weeks.

Mark Trumbo - If you've held out this long, it's worth waiting out the next couple weeks. While there are still some issues with Trumbo's approach, he's one of the few players who can easily hit 30 home runs, even with the missed time. 

Verdict: Hold

Matt Wieters - There's a long-term concern that Wieters will eventually have season-ending surgery on his arm. Until the team officially shuts him down, there's no reason to cut bait yet. Wieters managed to perform well at the plate despite the injury, and should remain a big part of the team's plans if the Baltimore Orioles can stay in the race.

Verdict: Hold

Clay Buchholz - Even before the injury, there were some legitimate reasons for concern with Buchholz. His strikeout rate took a nice tumble, while his walk rate shot up significantly. Even if he can get back quickly, there might be better options on the waiver wire.

Verdict: Cut him

Nolan Arenado - Arenado was tremendous prior to the injury. Though he still needs at least a month, and he's dealing with an injury to a sensitive place for hitters, he's worth keeping. 

Verdict: Hold

CC Sabathia - Like Buchholz, there were plenty of reasons to be worried about Sabathia prior to the injury. His diminished velocity and uncertain return date make him a questionable hold. He's expected to be out until July, and that's in a perfect scenario. It's very possible there are more intriguing options on the waiver wire right now.

Verdict: Cut him

Michael Pineda - Pineda is probably worth holding, but his injury history is worrisome. The fact that he's dealt with numerous setbacks, first during his suspension, and now during extended spring training, doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. He might be worth holding until early July, but anything later gets sketchy.

Verdict: Tenuous hold

Brandon Belt - This one is pretty tough. Belt got off to a hot start, but eventually cooled off and showed less than ideal peripherals. He would be a sure hold at any other position, but the fact that he plays first makes it a little more unclear. If you really need help, it might be OK to drop him.

Verdict: Tenuous hold

Wil Myers - Despite the poor performance, Myers has too much upside to drop at this point. If he experiences a setback, or needs to be out much longer than 15 days, this becomes a more interesting argument.

Verdict: Hold

Jeremy Hellickson - Even during his good years, Hellickson's value was depressed by poor strikeout rates. There's a good chance he pitched over his head back then, and his 2013 performance was a little closer to his true talent. There's not enough here to justify holding him.

Verdict: Cut him

Jurickson Profar - There's still a ton of potential here, but it's starting to look like a lost season. It's also somewhat tough to hold a player who's never been successful in the majors. Profar might emerge as a valuable pickup at the end of the year, but holding him now instead of picking up immediate help doesn't make sense.

Verdict: Cut him

Derek Holland - If you've held him this long, it might be worth it to try and wait it out. Holland is getting close to a rehab assignment, and there's a chance he only needs a few weeks before he returns. He's likely a significant upgrade over any other pitcher on the wire. If he's available in your league, it's almost time to pick him up and stash him.

Verdict: Tenuous hold

Bryce Harper - You're keeping Bryce Harper, OK? Owners may have been disappointed by the early performance, but he was starting to hit for average. No one doubts his power or talent. He's too good to just cut.

Verdict: Hold

Show Comments Hide Comments
CBS Sports Shop
MLB All-Star Gear
Our Latest Stories