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Remember my criteria for DL stashability? In order, it's ...
- How good is the player?
- What's the timetable?
- How likely is the injury to impact his performance?
That order will be put to the test Friday, though, with Jeff Samardzija and Drew Pomeranz each set to make his 2017 debut. So while the inspiration for these rankings was having too few DL spots for all the injured players, it doesn't get any easier once they're off the DL. The roster crunch gets even crunchier.
Those two aren't the only ones looking at a weekend return. Mike Zunino is also expected back Friday, with Wil Myers, Salvador Perez and Manuel Margot following close behind. Even Delino DeShields has put his name out there, potentially beating his timetable by 2-4 weeks.
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These rankings, though, take into account those timetables, which is revealing in its own way. If a practically healed Margot still ranks behind Eugenio Suarez, Greg Bird, Jimmy Nelson and Ervin Santana, all of whom are still weeks away from returning, then he might not be so deserving of a bench spot when he returns, especially if you've had trouble committing to any of those four in a DL spot.
Given how long you've stashed Pomeranz, it's possible you've built an impressive enough stable of arms in the meantime -- adding every Joey Lucchesi, Reynaldo Lopez and Jake Junis who emerged on the waiver wire -- that you'll really need to see something from him to justify dropping someone else. And that's OK. I mean, it's not ideal -- even in a 10-team league, chances are somebody in your league could use Pomeranz -- but roster limits don't exist to make your life easy. When forced to forfeit assets in response, sometimes you realize that DL stay was a blessing in disguise. Sometimes the one coming off the DL should be the one to go.
But not the top 11 here. They're undroppable no matter how shallow the format.
Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays 3B
Wil Myers San Diego Padres RF
|nerve irritation in arm|
Xander Bogaerts Boston Red Sox SS
Jonathan Schoop Baltimore Orioles 2B
Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants SP
Salvador Perez Kansas City Royals C
Justin Turner Los Angeles Dodgers 3B
Daniel Murphy Washington Nationals 2B
Elvis Andrus Texas Rangers SS
Corey Knebel Milwaukee Brewers RP
Adam Eaton Washington Nationals CF
|bone bruise in ankle|
Rich Hill Los Angeles Dodgers SP
Jeff Samardzija San Francisco Giants SP
Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins CF
Drew Pomeranz Boston Red Sox SP
Jake Lamb Arizona Diamondbacks 3B
Rougned Odor Texas Rangers 2B
Delino DeShields Texas Rangers LF
Mark Melancon San Francisco Giants RP
|elbow flexor strain|
Mike Zunino Seattle Mariners C
Steven Souza Arizona Diamondbacks RF
Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati Reds 3B
Greg Bird New York Yankees 1B
|bone spur in ankle|
Jimmy Nelson Milwaukee Brewers SP
Ervin Santana Minnesota Twins SP
Manuel Margot San Diego Padres CF
Mark Trumbo Baltimore Orioles DH
Luiz Gohara Atlanta Braves SP
Alex Reyes St. Louis Cardinals RP
|Tommy John surgery|
Carlos Rodon Chicago White Sox SP