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Just when the Indians get arguably their best hitter back, they lose arguably their best pitcher.
Carlos Carrasco replaced Michael Brantley on the DL on Monday and, in doing so, shook up the injury landscape in Fantasy. They may be on the same team in real life, but chances are they're not in your league, leaving two owners to scramble on a Monday afternoon.
Maybe you own Carrasco but have already filled your injury slots. How do you free up one? Maybe you got comfortable with Brantley confined to one and don't know how you're going to squeeze him on to your active roster. At least you can pick up another injured player, right? Or maybe you own neither and just like to see the competition squirm.
In any case, now seems like a good time to re-rank players on the DL by "stashability," which is determined by the answers to these questions:
- How good is the player?
- How hurt is the player?
- What's the timetable?
Here are my top 25 for right now:
2. Carlos Carrasco, SP, Indians (strained hamstring)
3. Jung Ho Kang, 3B/SS, Pirates (knee surgery)
4. Yu Darvish, SP, Rangers (Tommy John surgery)
5. Lance McCullers, SP, Astros (shoulder soreness)
6. Tyson Ross, SP, Padres (shoulder inflammation)
8. A.J. Pollock, OF, Diamondbacks (fractured elbow)
9. Glen Perkins, RP, Twins (strained shoulder)
10. Brad Boxberger, RP, Rays (abdominal surgery)
11. Devon Travis, 2B, Blue Jays (shoulder surgery)
12. Ben Revere, OF, Nationals (strained oblique)
14. Danny Valencia, 3B/OF, Athletics (strained hamstring)
15. Ender Inciarte, OF, Braves (strained hamstring)
16. Trevor Plouffe, 3B, Twins (intercostal strain)
17. Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Red Sox (dislocated kneecap)
18. Zack Wheeler, SP, Mets (Tommy John surgery)
19. Alex Cobb, SP, Rays (Tommy John surgery)
21. Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Dodgers (torn labrum in shoulder)
22. Andrew Heaney, SP, Angels (strained flexor muscle)
23. Anthony DeSclafani, SP, Reds (strained oblique)
24. Mike Minor, SP, Royals (torn labrum in shoulder)
25. Carl Crawford, OF, Dodgers (back stiffness)
- The top four are must-stash regardless of league size or slot availability -- and, yes, Carrasco belongs in front of Kang even though he's looking at a 4-to-6-week timetable. Nos. 5, 6 and 7 are close to undroppable as well, though it's not as clear they'll be high-end when they do return.
- Of course, Pollock is unquestionably high-end, but the only thing we know about his timetable is that it'll measure in months rather than weeks. Considering the same injury to the same elbow in 2010 cost him the rest of the season, I'm not particularly optimistic, and you'd hate to devote a roster spot to him for nothing. You'd hate even more for him to be the one who beats you in August, though.
- The closers, Perkins and Boxberger, would rank higher if I was completely confident in their ability to reclaim the role when they return. Boxberger wasn't so good last year, though, and the Rays aren't known for sticking with the status quo. Kevin Jepsen hasn't exactly seized the day in Perkins' absence, which helps, but Perkins has lingering concerns about his back after his meltdown late last year.
- Format comes into play beginning at No. 12, where Revere is of greater value in Rotisserie leagues (with their emphasis on stolen bases and increased number of outfield slots) than Head-to-Head points. Valencia, Inciarte and Plouffe would also have a hard time cracking the smaller Head-to-Head lineup when healthy, so maybe in those formats, you prioritize the upside of, say, Wheeler or Cobb even though they won't be back until July, probably.
- Bailey doesn't have quite the upside of Wheeler or Cobb, but he's much further along in his rehabilitation, needing just a couple more minor-league starts. He's good enough that you'll be glad you stashed him, looking at maybe Jose Quintana-like production.
- Ryu was much higher on this list when we last looked at it three weeks ago, but a groin strain has set him back, pushing his return to mid-June. That still seems overly ambitious to me, which is why I'm using him as the cutoff for standard mixed league stashes. Obviously, if you have a free DL slot, stashing a Heaney or Minor couldn't hurt, but the chances of you adding them to your active roster when push comes to shove is slim.