Whether they started the season on the DL or currently grace it now, there are always a few studs/regular contributors that are sitting out there because of injury. Some like Derek Jeter or Mark Teixeira sit on the waiver-wire because they were already hurt. Others like Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez are probably owned because they got hurt during the season. Here are the top 10 injured players that should still be owned in all leagues.
10. Matt Garza, SP, CHC
The Cubs currently sit in 13th place in team ERA at 3.76. That’s not bad for a team that finished with a 4.51 mark as a team in 2012. Once Garza returns, that number should get even lower. Travis Wood, Scott Feldman, and Jeff Samardzija have all pitched well, but Samardzija is 1-5. Garza is the true ace of the staff and he’s been making rehab starts at Triple-A Iowa. He could start as early as next week.
9. Corey Hart, 1B/OF, MIL
Hart’s still recovering from right knee surgery, but he’s not ready to return until early June. When he does return, he’ll rejoin a solid lineup with Ryan Braun, Norichika Aoki, Carlos Gomez, and Jean Segura. With Hart in the lineup, the power takes an uptick, as he’s had multiple campaigns with 20 or more homers. He’s likely to hit under 30 HR again due to the time he’s missed but he’s certainly someone to stash if you want some power numbers.
8. Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY
Tex has been out with a right wrist injury, but you wouldn’t know it by the Yankees’ early season performance. Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells, and even Lyle Overbay have provided some pop, but it won’t last. Tex is due back at the end of may, so you have a DL spot available and some dead weight, go grab him. He doesn’t offer much in the terms of average or stolen bases, but he does in homers and RBI.
7. Jason Heyward, OF, ATL
I’m not a huge fan of Heyward due to hype and constant trips to the DL. Alas, he’s there again, granted it’s due to an appendectomy. The Braves are still clicking offensively, so it’s not like he’s a player they can’t live without. Evan Gattis, Reed Johnson, and Jordan Schaefer have filled in admirably, but when (and that’s a huge step) he’s healthy, he is good third OF. We’ve never seen his potential over a full season, but he’s still young.
6. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA
Unlike Heyward, Stanton’s main problem is that his team is pretty bad offensively. He’s still going to produce although it might not be the near 40 HR Stanton we got two years ago. He’s just running in a pool now, and Marcell Ozuna has done well in his absence. That’s actually a blessing in disguise as he’ll have a buddy who produces in the lineup when he returns.
5. Derek Jeter, SS, NYY
Even though Jeter is 145 years old, he’s still better than 90% of the SS in the league. He’s in the midst of recovering from offseason ankle surgery and he might play less than half of the season. We’ve seen what Jeter can do regardless of age, so I’m confident he’ll return to the Yankees and help them make the postseason (again).
4. Brandon Beachy, SP, ATL
I was high on Beachy last year, and targeted him in all fantasy drafts. He rewarded me with the best ERA in the league before being lost to a right elbow injury. He’s slated to begin making rehab starts soon, so it’s a matter of a few weeks before he rejoins the Braves’ rotation. Kris Medlen has struggled thus far, but with Beachy, Medlen, Mike Minor, and Tim Hudson, Atlanta will have a rotation that goes five deep. Not many teams can say that.
3. Jered Weaver, SP, LAA
Weaver fractured his left elbow early in April, and has been on the DL ever since. You’d have to been crazy to have dropped him, so he’s not likely available on any waiver wires. He’s the ace of the Angels’ staff and they clearly need him as they are only a few games in front of the Astros. He’ll be making a few rehab starts before re-joining the staff. He’ll be back to form sooner rather than later.
2. Hanley Ramirez, 3B/SS, LAD
Hanley started the season hurt but returned April 29. Three days later, he strained his hamstring returning to the DL once again. He’s one of the more valuable players when healthy so he’s likely stashed away on someone’s DL. If someone’s looking to dump him, be their huckleberry and trade for him.
1. Jose Reyes, SS, TOR
Reyes is one of the top SS in both reality and fantasy. He got hurt by severely straining his left hammy. It’s never an easy injury to return from and he’s not slated to return until the end of June. I was in a league where he was dropped, and I was flabbergasted. If you have other studs on the DL, I understand, but like Heyward, when he’s healthy, he’s extremely productive.