by Will Overton
With as many injuries as we’ve seen in the early part of this season you’re lucky to have DL spots left to stash anyone. That said, sometimes the best waiver wire pickups a person can make are ones who aren’t going to contribute right away.
Because there have been several injuries already this season and only so many spots on your bench to stash DL guys, a lot of injured players have been dropped already. If you have the fortune of stashing a couple of those guys enjoy taking advantage of others misfortunes.
I have compiled a list of six different guys currently on the DL who I think are worth adding. In some cases they are guys you’ll have to stash for a period of time. In other cases you can add them to your bench and they’ll be back sooner than later.
Here are the six guys I think could be added in standard leagues:
Adam Eaton – OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: It’s going to be a bit of a lengthy rehab process for Adam Eaton, but he has started it. Eaton is down in single-A ball right now playing exclusively as a DH right now. It’ll still be another couple weeks before Eaton is playing the outfield again. Within the next month though the goal is to have him back in the big leagues. If not as soon as he is brought back up to the big leagues, shortly after, Eaton should be hitting leadoff and racking up runs and stolen bases. It’s possible that Eaton could be one of the league’s top ten base steals from June through the end of the season.
Kevin Youkilus – 1B/3B, New York Yankees: Later this week Kevin Youkilus is going to be eligible to return from the DL. It’s not looking like he’s going to be ready when the time comes as he’s still working through the back issues. Still, Youkilus will hopefully be back by the end of this month so shouldn’t need to be stashed for too much longer. I’m not buying that we’re going to see the Youkilus of old anymore, but he’s still got value in standard leagues and still feasts on right handed pitchers. Youkilus is somewhere in between what he once was and being unownable, which makes him worth a stash.
Neil Walker – 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates: This is one of those guys coming back sooner rather than later, by that I mean he’s going to be activated today. After a bit of a lackluster start to the season and then an injury Walker ended up being dropped in 60% of leagues after being drafted in all of them. Walker has become a solid, even if a little unspectacular, second baseman over the years and there is something to be said about consistent performers at second base. Walker is a career .278 hitter who has been in double digits in HR’s for three straight years.
Cameron Maybin – OF, San Diego Padres: I have legitimate concerns about Maybin, especially considering he’s trying to come back from a wrist injury which can have lingering effects. That said, at just 26 years old I still don’t know that we’ve seen the best that Cameron Maybin has to offer. Given the nature of the injury Maybin might be more of a deep league guy. Still, Maybin has stolen 33 bases on average the last two seasons and has more power than we’ve seen yet. This is more of a flier, let’s call it a hunch, kind of a recommendation, but adding Maybin could end up paying off big.
Matt Garza – SP, Chicago Cubs: Matt Garza is on the rehab trail and is only a week or two at most away from returning to the Cubs. After turning in four straight solid seasons in a row, Garza took a step forward last season and showed a bit more potential than we’d ever seen before. Garza struck out a career high 1967 batters last season with a career best 3.32 ERA. He also allowed only half of the amount of HR’s as he had the previous season. You won’t get many wins by stashing Garza on your bench/DL, but you will get a lot of K’s and some solid ratios. I’m actually really surprised that Garza is available in the 75% of leagues that he is.
Brandon Beachy – SP, Atlanta Braves: This is a bit more risky than adding Matt Garza when you consider that Beachy hasn’t started serious rehab starts yet and is coming from Tommy John Surgery. At the same time though there is more upside and Beachy looked like a potential number one starter before wrecking his elbow. Beachy is going to go from simulated starts to rehab starts soon and could do that for up to a month before rejoining the Braves rotation. We don’t know what to expect from Beachy coming off this injury, but if he makes a full recovery you’re looking at a guy who had a 2.00 ERA last season in 13 starts and a 10.74 K/9 rate the year before. Beachy is available in 95% of ESPN leagues which is just insane really. Add this guy and hope for the best. He could help anchor your rotation in the second half.
What do you think of the guys on this list as potential stashes or adds? Who do you think here is worth holding on to?