Fantasy Baseball: Ranking the top 30 IL stashes with Corey Kluber progressing and Tyler Glasnow not

The All-Star break has come and gone. The 2019 season is in its waning phase. Now's when things get serious.

Among them: injuries with indefinite timetables. The baseball season is so long that whenever a star player goes down, provided it's not with what's known to be a season-ending injury, you can trust he'll eventually be back to contributing again and it will have almost certainly been worth the wait.

But now? The distinction between a weeks-long absence and a months-long absence is becoming less and less, to the point that anything short of a firm end date could be inferred to mean "or maybe not at all." 

This is especially true for starting pitchers, who might need close to a month's rehabilitation (meaning actual games) if they've missed upward of a month. Ones who have yet to begin even throwing may simply run out of time.

And the time crunch is only amplified in leagues that don't see this thing through to the end. In a Head-to-Head league, for instance, you may be looking at just a few more weeks of regular-season play. Sure, a returning ace might help you secure a championship, but you have to survive in the interim.

That isn't to say you should drop all of your longer-term injured players for shorter-term injured players. When an injured player becomes healthy, he's no longer stashable in an IL spot, of course, which means he has to be at least as good as your worst player to justify stashing in any capacity. There's still a balance then between how good the injured player is -- what sort of impact he could make at full health, in other words -- and how long the wait will be. It's just that the latter is rising in importance.

The gap is growing for pitchers like Corey Kluber, who has been throwing from long distances already and is set to begin bullpen work, and Tyler Glasnow, who still isn't throwing and won't for at least two more weeks. Both were originally given lengthy timetables with indefinite paths to recovery, and we still don't know what lies ahead for Kluber. But that seemingly small head start makes all the difference now.

It's reflected in their ranking here, among other things. 

Top 30 IL stashes
RankPlayerInjury
Last update
1
Max Scherzer WAS SP
strained back
short stay expected, may return this weekend
2 sprained ankle
could return Tuesday
3
Willson Contreras CHC C
strained foot
minimum stay expected
4 cracked rib
on rehab assignment but ineligible to return until July 26
5 shoulder fatigue
awaiting MRI results, but short stay expected
6
Corey Kluber CLE SP
fractured arm
set to begin bullpen sessions, mid-August possible
7
Giancarlo Stanton NYY LF
sprained knee
no baseball activities yet, hoping for August return
8 fractured finger
still dealing with swelling, hoping for August return
9 strained oblique
on throwing program, hoping for August return
10 sprained ankle
some fielding, but not able to run yet
11 strained groin
on rehab assignment, back Tuesday?
12
Brandon Lowe TB 2B
bruised shin
possible return this weekend
13 shoulder inflammation
nearing rehab assignment
14 loose bodies in elbow
nearing rehab assignment
15
Luke Weaver ARI SP
sprained elbow
has begun throwing, still a month or more away
16
Carlos Carrasco CLE SP
leukemia
throwing with an eye on returning still
17
Luis Severino NYY SP
strained lat
has begun throwing but could return in bullpen role
18
Tyler Glasnow TB SP
strained forearm
shut down two more weeks, season in doubt
19
Rich Hill LAD SP
strained forearm
will resume throwing soon, hoping for September return
20 thumb inflammation
likely a short-term stay
21 strained thumb tendon
no surgery required, but out three weeks
22
Mitch Haniger SEA RF
ruptured testicle
trying to get cleared for baseball activities
23 sore shoulder
recently suffered setback, likely weeks away
24 sore back
on rehab assignment
25
Jameson Taillon PIT SP
strained elbow flexor
some light tossing, but Pirates aren't optimistic
26
Tommy La Stella LAA 2B
fractured tibia
hoping for September return
27
Sean Manaea OAK SP
shoulder inflammation
struggling on rehab assignment
28
Pablo Lopez MIA SP
torn shoulder labrum
has begun throwing program, building toward rehab assignment
29 sprained knee
beginning to do some running
30
Gregory Polanco PIT RF
shoulder inflammation
suffered setback on rehab
Senior Fantasy Writer

Raised in Atlanta by a board game-loving family during the dawn of the '90s Braves dynasty, Scott White was easy prey for the Fantasy Sports, in particular Fantasy Baseball, and has devoted his adulthood... Full Bio

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