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When the All-Star beak approaches, the number of DL cases typically rises as teams take advantage of four "free" days when no games are happening to build in some extra rest for the bruised and battered.
But this July has functioned as a clearing house of sorts, with many longstanding DL cases wrapping up in the past couple weeks. A.J. Pollock, Robbie Ray, Ronald Acuna, Johnny Cueto, Paul DeJong — they're all back, and their removal creates a void in these rankings we haven't seen so far this season. Throw in more recent examples like Chris Archer and Masahiro Tanaka, and it's apparent the big names are coming off faster than they're going on.
Which is exciting apart from the obvious reason that Fantasy teams are being made whole again. What's left behind is a no-longer-so-star-studded DL stash list, which allows for more subjectivity and an opportunity to be proactive. Imagine seeing a DL spot as a chance to acquire new talent as opposed to just conserving existing talent.
The back of this list offers some relative throws of the dice. And while we could quibble about the order after the top 18 (or maybe 20 — Jay Bruce and Ryan Braun form a curious bridge between provenness and brokenness), they're all worth picking up if you have an unoccupied DL spot.
Starting pitchers like Trevor Cahill, Joe Musgrove and Jake Junis might be more attractive stashes in points leagues. A bat like Jorge Soler and a non-closing reliever like Andrew Miller maybe more so in categories formats. David Dahl, Ervin Santana, Jimmy Nelson and Mike Soroka offer the kind of upside that could amount to something across all formats, but they're no more than speculative pickups, lacking clear timetables.
Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs 3B
Carlos Correa Houston Astros SS
Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals SP
Noah Syndergaard New York Mets SP
Gary Sanchez New York Yankees C
Sean Doolittle Washington Nationals RP
Gleyber Torres New York Yankees 2B
Tyler Skaggs Los Angeles Angels SP
Yu Darvish Chicago Cubs SP
Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays 3B
Walker Buehler Los Angeles Dodgers SP
Yoenis Cespedes New York Mets LF
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Vince Velasquez Philadelphia Phillies SP
Michael Wacha St. Louis Cardinals SP
Shane Greene Detroit Tigers RP
Yasiel Puig Los Angeles Dodgers RF
Hunter Strickland San Francisco Giants RP
Avisail Garcia Chicago White Sox RF
Jay Bruce New York Mets RF
Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers LF
Trevor Cahill Oakland Athletics SP
Joe Musgrove Pittsburgh Pirates SP
Jake Junis Kansas City Royals SP
Jorge Soler Kansas City Royals RF
David Dahl Colorado Rockies RF
Jake Faria Tampa Bay Rays SP
Ervin Santana Minnesota Twins SP
Jimmy Nelson Milwaukee Brewers SP
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Mike Soroka Atlanta Braves SP
Andrew Miller Cleveland Indians RP