We're moving backward.

Nearly a month has passed since I last examined the top DL stashes in Fantasy Baseball, but many of the same names remain. So naturally, you'd expect them to rank higher than they did at last check-in, having had more time to recover. Being closer to a return makes a player more stashable, after all.

But they've instead gone the other way. Zach Britton has moved down four spots even though he's in the final two weeks of his recovery. Ditto for Mitch Haniger and Felix Hernandez.

The reason isn't some big secret: Players keep getting hurt -- or more accurately, they're going on the DL in record numbers, but it's not always clear how hurt they are. Changing the minimum DL stay from 15 days to 10 this season has encouraged teams to use an abundance of caution and, in some (ahem) dodgier cases, to abuse the system.

It's to the point that going just 30 deep is kind of short-changing this list, but the bottom line is you can only afford to roster so many DL players. Roster space is valuable, and particularly in leagues that use daily lineups, bench players are necessary. If the threshold for a rosterable DL player rises with the changing landscape, so be it.

(Relax. I'll touch on some of the overflow below.)

Top 30 DL stashes
1
A.J. Pollock Arizona CF
strained groin
2
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Mike Trout L.A. Angels CF
thumb surgery
3
Madison Bumgarner San Francisco SP
sprained shoulder
4
strained lat
5
fractured wrist
6
Yoenis Cespedes N.Y. Mets LF
strained hamstring
7
Jean Segura Seattle SS
high ankle sprain
8
Ryan Braun Milwaukee LF
strained calf
9
strained oblique
10
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Danny Duffy Kansas City SP
strained oblique
11
Aroldis Chapman N.Y. Yankees RP
rotator cuff inflammation
12
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Zach Britton Baltimore RP
strained forearm
13
knee subluxation
14
Alex Wood L.A. Dodgers SP
shoulder inflammation
15
Justin Turner L.A. Dodgers 3B
strained hamstring
16
Ian Kinsler Detroit 2B
strained hamstring
17
strained oblique
18
Steven Matz N.Y. Mets SP
strained elbow
19
torn fingernail
20
Jameson Taillon Pittsburgh SP
testicular cancer
21
Jon Gray Colorado SP
fractured foot
22
Carlos Rodon Chi. White Sox SP
biceps bursitis
23
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Wilson Ramos Tampa Bay C
knee surgery
24
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Dustin Pedroia Boston 2B
sprained wrist
25
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Trevor Cahill San Diego SP
strained shoulder
26
shoulder bursitis
27
Tom Murphy Colorado C
fractured forearm
28
Jeurys Familia N.Y. Mets RP
blood clot in shoulder
29
Cam Bedrosian L.A. Angels RP
strained groin
30
David Dahl Colorado LF
stress reaction in ribcage
  • Of course, the 10-day DL can't be blamed for the number out-and-out studs who've fallen victim to more significant injuries in recent weeks. Mike Trout, Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard and Freddie Freeman are each more than a month away from returning (and thus bridge the A.J. Pollock-Yoenis Cespedes divide that spans about a dozen names in my outfield rankings), but of course no one would dream of dropping them because of the kind of impact they'll make when healthy.
  • One of the newest additions to this list, Jean Segura, doesn't have the clearest of timetables. Between that and the increasingly foreign concept of position scarcity, his ranking is less than straightforward, and you could make the case to slot him as low as 12th, depending whether his shortstop eligibility matters to you and how your format rewards contributions like stolen bases and walks. He sounds optimistic he'll be back before the end of the month, though.
  • The value your format places starting pitching could drop Segura below Alex Wood and Eduardo Rodriguez as well. The left-handers, who were bordering on high-end status when they landed on the DL, also have elusive timetables, but Wood may only be a turn away from returning. Rodriguez has contended with this same injury before, even missing two months at the start of last season, but the Red Sox hope this instance is mild enough to cost him just 3-4 weeks.
  • After a long wait, Mitch Haniger and Steven Matz could both return before the end of the week, but while each has shown promise in limited opportunities, both remain largely unproven. Still, they're 90 percent owned in CBS Sports leagues for a reason, and now obviously wouldn't be the time to cut bait.
  • Jameson Taillon is only about a month removed from surgery, but with two dominant rehab outings under his belt, his cancer battle is pointing to a happy resolution. One more should have him in the big leagues. At least from a 12-team perspective, he's the cut-off for must-own status.
  • Two who may not be getting enough attention on this list are Wilson Ramos and Tom Murphy. Both have begun rehab assignment and may only be a week or two away from returning to the majors. Murphy is probably the closer of the two, but of course he's not as proven as Ramos, who gave Buster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy a run for the top catcher spot last year. That's about the one position -- even relative to shortstop -- where there's an honest-to-goodness scarcity, which makes a mostly speculative pickup like Murphy, whose power potential could lead to massive production at Coors Field, a high priority.
  • Rounding out the list, Cam Bedrosian has become something of a long shot to reclaim the closer role from the surprising Bud Norris, but if you've stashed him this long, you might as well see it through to be sure. He's the more talented of the two, after all. "Seeing it through" is kind of the idea behind David Dahl as well, even though his rehab has stalled and he might miss the entire first half. A Rockies outfielder with a top-prospect pedigree is still a more appealing stash than a concussed Jacoby Ellsbury.
  • Ellsbury was one of the near misses for this list -- and mostly because his concussion symptoms still haven't dissipated, which makes for the murkiest of timetables. Cameron Maybin and Charlie Morton have both flashed genuine mixed-league potential and are both probably looking at shorter recovery periods, but since they're fringy even when healthy, you shouldn't feel obligated to stash them. Tyson Ross, who's due back this week from the same procedure that has derailed Matt Harvey, and Greg Bird, who was one of April's biggest disappointments after a monster spring training, harbor some upside still, but they have a long way to go to regain my trust.