Fantasy Baseball: Ranking the top 35 IL stashes in light of Aaron Judge's oblique injury, Austin Meadows' sprained thumb

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If you had managed to avoid the injury bug up until this weekend, devoting your IL spots to known preseason casualties like Aaron Hicks, Scooter Gennett and Jimmy Nelson, chances are your luck finally ran out.

Jacob deGrom, Aaron Judge, Jean Segura, Starling Marte, Austin Meadows, Harrison Bader, Odubel Herrera, Michael Wacha, Lucas Giolito and Nathan Eovaldi were just a few of the additions to baseball's wounded.

Some of the injuries don't amount to much — the kind that might not have landed a player on the IL if it was still a 15-day minimum instead of 10. The deGrom elbow fakeout, the Segura hamstring strain and, really, all of the hamstring strains (Bader, Herrera, Giolito and Scott Kingery) sound like they'll be minimum stays, which is of course good news. It does mean, though, that any bench spots freed up by their absences will be short-lived.

The most concerning of the new injuries is most certainly Judge, who suffered what's being described as a "pretty significant' oblique strain. The Yankees haven't offered a timetable, but you should anticipate a couple months, with a possibility of setbacks along the way. A 6-8 week timetable would be on the optimistic side.

It's just the latest in what has been a merciless assault on the Yankees roster, but it happened with both Gary Sanchez (strained calf) and Giancarlo Stanton (strained biceps) on the verge of returning. So there may be mercy after all.

Others like Blake Snell, Mike Foltynewicz, Rich Hill and Tyler Skaggs are expected back within the next week, and of course timetable factors into these IL stash rankings. It's not the No. 1 criterion, though, given that a player returning from the IL presents its own roster complications.

Here are the three considerations for these rankings, in order or priority:

  1. How good is the player?
  2. What's the timetable?
  3. How likely is the injury to impact his performance?

Of course, there's a possibility you may have more injured players than you have IL spots, and it's not always worth keeping the extras on your bench. I will say that the top 19 here are all pretty close to must-stash for me, but if you play in something like a 10-team league, you may have to be more exclusive.

Top IL stashes
1
Jacob deGrom New York Mets SP
elbow discomfort
2
Blake Snell Tampa Bay Rays SP
fractured toe
3
Gary Sanchez New York Yankees C
strained calf
4
Trea Turner Washington Nationals SS
fractured finger
5
Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees LF
strained biceps
6
Aaron Judge New York Yankees RF
strained oblique
7
Daniel Murphy Colorado Rockies 1B
fractured finger
8
Jean Segura Philadelphia Phillies SS
strained hamstring
9
Starling Marte Pittsburgh Pirates CF
abdominal wall bruise
10
Austin Meadows Tampa Bay Rays RF
sprained thumb
11
Mike Foltynewicz Atlanta Braves SP
elbow discomfort
12
Matt Olson Oakland Athletics 1B
fractured thumb
13
Gregory Polanco Pittsburgh Pirates RF
torn shoulder labrum
14
Mike Clevinger Cleveland Indians SP
strained back
15
Luis Severino New York Yankees SP
rotator cuff inflammation
16
Aaron Hicks New York Yankees CF
back discomfort
17
Scooter Gennett Cincinnati Reds 2B
strained groin
18
Miguel Andujar New York Yankees 3B
torn shoulder labrum
19
Rich Hill Los Angeles Dodgers SP
sprained knee
20
Rougned Odor Texas Rangers 2B
sprained knee
21
Kyle Freeland Colorado Rockies SP
blister
22
Justin Upton Los Angeles Angels LF
turf toe
23
Didi Gregorius New York Yankees SS
Tommy John surgery
24
Jon Lester Chicago Cubs SP
strained hamstring
25
Tyler Skaggs Los Angeles Angels SP
sprained ankle
26
Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels SP
Tommy John surgery
27
Carlos Martinez St. Louis Cardinals SP
shoulder inflammation
28
Jimmy Nelson Milwaukee Brewers SP
torn rotator cuff
29
Yoenis Cespedes New York Mets CF
heel surgery
30
Harrison Bader St. Louis Cardinals CF
strained hamstring
31
Odubel Herrera Philadelphia Phillies CF
strained hamstring
32
Jed Lowrie New York Mets 3B
sprained knee
33
Miguel Sano Minnesota Twins 3B
heel laceration
34
Alex Wood Cincinnati Reds SP
back spasms
35
Andrew Heaney Los Angeles Angels SP
elbow discomfort
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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