Fantasy Baseball: Ranking the top 30 IL stashes with Shohei Ohtani nearing return

For more Fantasy baseball insights, and to keep up with all the latest news, roster trends and more throughout the season, subscribe to Fantasy Baseball Today now on iTunesStitcher or Spotify. You can find us on YouTube now, with full episodes and clips available every Monday through Friday.

The past week brought its usual onslaught of injuries, from the short-term (Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, David Price) to the kind that will likely extend beyond a month (James Paxton, Jameson Taillon, A.J. Pollock).

And then there's those players on the verge of coming off the IL. Rendon (already?) and Matt Olson, yes, but there's one particular long-term stash who may be on the verge of paying off.

Emphasis on the "may."

We really don't know what to expect from Shohei Ohtani, do we? It's true he may be activated as early as Tuesday, and it's true that swinging a bat doesn't require as lengthy of a recovery from Tommy John surgery as throwing or certainly pitching does. And swinging the bat is all he's expected to do in 2019, spending all of his time at DH.

But as with every aspect of being a two-way player in the modern game, it's uncharted territory. Ohtani's future is still on the mound, so of course he'll continue to rehabilitate the arm while he's swinging the bat. Might he need to take some occasional time off from swinging the bat to do so? It stands to reason. Back when he was pitching once a week, he needed the day before and after most every start off, severely limiting his impact as a hitter.

Then again, there was that month-long stretch at the end of last season when he knew he needed Tommy John surgery and had already stopped pitching but continued to DH — and did so every day. He hit .310 with seven homers, four steals and a 1.003 OPS during that time.

So we already know he can be an impact hitter when he's in the lineup, bringing top-shelf power and underrated speed, but how often will he be in the lineup and will the bat be impacted in some way by the recovery? Both fair questions for which I don't have an answer.

I'm exercising the same standard for his activation off the IL as I would for a top prospect call-up, though: I want to make sure I'm the one who finds out. Slotting Ohtani ahead of Eloy Jimenez on this list should drive home the point that he needs to be rostered, regardless of whether it's in an IL spot. I'd say the same is true for at least the top 20.

Top IL stashes
1
Anthony Rendon Washington Nationals 3B
bruised elbow
2
Juan Soto Washington Nationals LF
back spasms
3
Trea Turner Washington Nationals SS
fractured finger
4
Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees LF
sore shoulder
5
James Paxton New York Yankees SP
sore knee
6
Fernando Tatis San Diego Padres SS
strained hamstring
7
Aaron Judge New York Yankees RF
strained oblique
8
David Price Boston Red Sox SP
elbow tendinitis
9
Chris Archer Pittsburgh Pirates SP
sprained thumb
10
Jameson Taillon Pittsburgh Pirates SP
strained elbow flexor
11
Austin Meadows Tampa Bay Rays RF
sprained thumb
12
Mike Clevinger Cleveland Indians SP
strained back
13
Corey Kluber Cleveland Indians SP
fractured forearm
14
Aaron Hicks New York Yankees CF
back spasms
15
Matt Olson Oakland Athletics 1B
fractured hand
16
Luis Severino New York Yankees SP
strained lat
17
Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels SP
Tommy John surgery
18
Eloy Jimenez Chicago White Sox LF
sprained ankle
19
Scooter Gennett Cincinnati Reds 2B
strained groin
20
Didi Gregorius New York Yankees SS
Tommy John surgery
21
Justin Upton Los Angeles Angels LF
turf toe
22
A.J. Pollock Los Angeles Dodgers CF
elbow surgery
23
Jimmy Nelson Milwaukee Brewers SP
torn rotator cuff
24
Willians Astudillo Minnesota Twins C
strained hamstring
25
Cody Allen Los Angeles Angels RP
strained back
26
Jed Lowrie New York Mets 3B
sprained knee
27
Miguel Sano Minnesota Twins 3B
heel laceration
28
Andrew Heaney Los Angeles Angels SP
elbow discomfort
29
Alex Wood Cincinnati Reds SP
back spasms
30
Hunter Strickland Seattle Mariners RP
strained lat
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

Our Latest Stories