Note: Don't whiff on this special FanDuel offer. Win your first contest or get your money back (up to $10) to keep playing Try FanDuel now!
I was all about that Alex Wood, man.
His improvement was palpable and predictable, given a mechanical adjustment he had made, and I made a point to roster him in every league where he was available.
Which means I was hurting along with him when he went down with an impingement in his elbow last week.
It's not so clear when he's returning either, though it'll probably be a while since he won't even throw a pitch for a month.
So is he worth stashing? Well, I'd hate to give up on him now, but it kind of depends what other injured players I have. I'll need to field a competitive roster in the meantime, of course, and even in leagues where DL space is provided, it's limited.
You may face such a dilemma in your league, and to help with that, I've ranked the top 25 DL stashes:
1. Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners (strained calf)
2. Michael Brantley, OF, Indians (shoulder fatigue)
3. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Blue Jays (strained quadriceps)
4. Miguel Sano, 3B/OF, Twins (strained hamstring)
5. Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers (strained hamstring)
6. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Rangers (strained hamstring)
7. Travis d'Arnaud, C, Mets (strained rotator cuff)
8. Josh Reddick, OF, Athletics (fractured thumb)
9. Hunter Pence, OF, Giants (hamstring surgery)
10. Alex Wood, SP, Dodgers (impingement in elbow)
11. David Peralta, OF, Diamondbacks (wrist inflammation)
12. Logan Forsythe, 1B/2B, Rays (fractured shoulder blade)
13. A.J. Pollock, OF, Diamondbacks (fractured elbow)
14. Tyson Ross, SP, Padres (shoulder inflammation)
15. Leonys Martin, OF, Mariners (strained hamstring)
16. Brad Boxberger, RP, Rays (strained oblique)
17. Zack Wheeler, SP, Mets (Tommy John surgery)
18. Alex Cobb, SP, Rays (Tommy John surgery)
19. Lucas Duda, 1B, Mets (stress fracture in back)
20. Garrett Richards, SP, Angels (torn ligament in elbow)
21. Glen Perkins, RP, Twins (strained shoulder)
22. Jhonny Peralta, SS, Cardinals (torn ligament in thumb)
23. Blake Swihart, C/OF, Red Sox (sprained ankle)
24. Alex Gordon, OF, Royals (sprained wrist)
25. Rubby De La Rosa, SP, Diamondbacks (elbow inflammation)
- Brantley's ranking may seem kind of high considering the Indians still have no timetable for his return and, according to Yahoo Sports, are worried he could miss significant time, but it speaks to our changing perception of Tulowitzki, Sano and Puig, who have all greatly underachieved this year. Brantley is the last definitively high-end player with even a chance of returning in a matter of weeks, as opposed to months, so I can't imagine a scenario in which I'd drop him, even if my league didn't offer a DL spot.
- I've heard claims of Puig being dropped in some leagues, and I get it. He has bombed since the first week of the season after disappointing us all last year, and his peripherals are yucky. It's kind of the same argument for Carlos Gomez except Puig is still in the prime of his career. But really, how much can we expect from the 33-year-old Choo after already having his season derailed by calf and shin injuries? He was in that same spot in 2014 and needed a crazy finish to salvage his 2015. In my mind, he's just as much of a wild card, but with a lower ceiling.
- Perhaps the one "safe" outfielder on this list is Josh Reddick, who has a clear timetable for his return (about three weeks) and limited floor because of his high contact rate. Of course, he's probably no better than a third outfielder in standard mixed leagues, so in shallower formats, he may not be worth any kind of wait. David Peralta, who's two spots lower, is on the verge of his return and may qualify as "safe" in some people's eyes, but he still has questions about his productivity (not to mention his playing time given Brandon Drury's emergence).
- Hunter Pence is looking at about an eight-week recovery from surgery to reattach muscle to bone, and it seems like some complications could arise during his rehabilitation. He did show his resilience last year, though, by bouncing back from three DL stints with the same kind of number he always puts up, so I trust he'll matter again before season's end. It's why he ranks so high despite the long wait.
- Format comes into play with Leonys Martin, who had become near-indispensable in Rotisserie leagues, what with their deeper lineups and emphasis on home runs and stolen bases. His poor plate discipline kept him on the fringes in points leagues, though, and because he went on the DL during his hottest the stretch of the season, we don't know what kind of regression was coming. Likewise, Blake Swihart only matters in two-catcher leagues, but he matters quite a bit in those as the everyday left fielder for the Red Sox. He'll be reevaluated in two weeks, but there's apparently some concern he could miss the rest of the season, pushing him further down the list.
- Garrett Richards is also in limbo as he tries to put off Tommy John surgery. We'll know in six weeks whether the stem-cell injection he received in his elbow will allow him back on the mound this season. I'd bet against it, personally, which tells you what I think of the players I rank behind him.
- One of those players is Johnny Peralta, who's set to come off the DL Tuesday (and may have already by the time you read this column). Obviously, a better timetable improves a player's ranking, and timetables don't get much better than his. But the shortstop position as a whole has improved to the point that he's not such a big deal anymore. Consider that he averaged 2.39 Head-to-Head points per game last year in what was a fairly typical season for him. That's about what Marcus Semien has done this year, and he's 54 percent owned.
- Not much love for the closers here, I know, but Brad Boxberger's oblique injury could sideline him for as much as eight weeks. By then, Alex Colome figures to have shored up the role (like he should have already). Ranking Boxberger 16th, then, is more for those leagues where saves are nowhere to be found. Hey, at least he has a chance. Glen Perkins is looking at a lengthy rehabilitation himself and would be entering a miserable situation in Minnesota. I'm thinking some setup men might be more valuable than him when he returns.