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Fantasy Baseball Injury Stash Rankings: Walker Buehler, Matt McClain, Josh Lowe (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Injury Stash Rankings: Walker Buehler, Matt McClain, Josh Lowe (2024)

This is my first injury stash article of the season. I’m ecstatic to do this every week, as I play in more season-long leagues than anyone would believe. This article will help me zone in on some of the injuries and assist you guys along the way. Unfortunately, there were many pitcher injuries in spring training. They’ll be featured heavily in this piece. Some ailing hitters are highlighted below too. We’re here to help you figure it all out.

Let’s dive into this week’s rankings and determine who is worth those precious IL spots.

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2024 Fantasy Baseball Injury Stashes

Pitchers to Stash Right Now

Walker Buehler (SP – LAD)

It’s hard to speculate about Buehler (elbow) right now. We know the ace will start the season on the IL, but he threw four innings in a simulated game just a few days ago. That means he could be ready for action soon. The Dodgers will want to limit his innings. This is a tough cookie to crack, but this is one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY)

Cole’s was the biggest injury during spring training, as he’s dealing with some elbow issues. This guy is regularly one of the league leaders in innings, but this is concerning since he had to get multiple opinions. The good news is that surgery is off the table for now. Still, Cole is expected to be out for at least two months. He needs to rest, and we’ll know more in a few weeks.

Justin Verlander (SP – HOU)

Verlander is reportedly fully healthy but hasn’t had enough time to build up his arm for the new season. The former Cy Young winner threw 32 pitches on Tuesday and could ramp up to a full workload in the coming weeks. A reasonable guess is that he will debut in late April.

Eury Perez (SP – MIA)

This is one of the murkiest situations out there. Perez had to leave a spring training start due to elbow issues, which is sad since this kid looked like an ace in the making. The good news is that nothing structural happened, and he reportedly just needs a few weeks to rest. Perez’s timetable is uncertain, but he’ll likely resume a throwing program in a few weeks. He could then build up his pitch count over the following month.

Sonny Gray (SP – STL)

Gray was an excellent addition for the Cards in the offseason, but he will start the season on the IL with a hamstring injury. A hammy issue is problematic for most hitters, but it’s not quite as big of a deal for pitchers. He could be back within a month but will miss the first few rounds through the rotation.

Jordan Romano (RP – TOR)

Romano’s status is unclear right now, but Toronto is hopeful this isn’t a long-term issue. The closer is dealing with a tender elbow. The expectation is that he will start the season on the IL. He is expected to throw this weekend, though, so the stint could be short if everything goes smoothly.

Kodai Senga (SP – NYM)

Senga (shoulder) broke out with the Mets last year, but he’s going to start the season on the IL. The good news is that he’s expected to resume a throwing program this week and could be back in May if everything runs smoothly.

Jhoan Duran (RP – MIN)

Duran is one of baseball’s best closers, but a grade-three oblique strain will knock him out for some time. This injury can often keep pitchers out up to two months. Griffin Jax appears most likely to fill the closer’s gig.

Eduardo Rodriguez (SP – ARI)

Rodriguez suffered a strained lat in his pitching shoulder and seems likely to miss at least the opening month of the year. The lefty could miss up to 8 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.

Paul Sewald (RP – ARI)

The D’Backs closer suffered a grade-two oblique strain and will start the season on the 15-Day IL. That will likely have him out for the first month of the season, with Kevin Ginkel being the most likely replacement.

Hitters to Stash Right Now

Matt McLain (2B,SS – CIN)

McLain was a breakout pick of mine in the offseason, so seeing him go down in spring training was depressing. The slugger is dealing with a shoulder issue, and we don’t have a timetable for his rehab. He has the highest upside of any hitter that will start the season on the IL as long as he doesn’t miss significant time. We won’t know more until later in the week.

Josh Lowe (OF – TB)

Lowe and McClain stand above everyone else on this list. The good news is that Lowe is dealing with a grade-one oblique strain, which is the mildest. If things run smoothly, Lowe could be back in the heart of Tampa’s lineup by the end of April.

Nathaniel Lowe (1B – TEX)

Lowe is not an exciting option for fantasy, but he hits in the heart of a dangerous Rangers lineup and can flirt with a .300 average. That makes him a worthy stash. Lowe dealt with tightness in his side throughout spring training. His timetable is up in the air, but it doesn’t sound like a long-term issue.

TJ Friedl (OF – CIN)

Friedl fractured his wrist last week and will be out for at least six weeks. He was a Top-150 pick in season-long leagues before that and could be a sneaky stash if you have some IL slots available.

Tommy Edman (2B,SS,OF – STL)

Edman has gone undrafted in most of my drafts. That’s surprising, as he’s had at least 27 steals in three straight years. He is going to start the season on the IL due to inflammation in his surgically repaired wrist. That’s a scary diagnosis, but that typically only zaps power, which means Edman should still swipe some bags whenever he’s ready to return.

Lars Nootbaar (OF – STL)

Nootbaar was a sneaky add in fantasy leagues last season. He hit leadoff for the Cards over the final two months, flirting with a .400 OBP in that role, but he’ll start the season on the IL. Nootbaar is dealing with a rib issue but took some swings a few days ago. He should only miss a few weeks to start the year.

DJ LeMahieu (1B,2B,3B – NYY)

LeMahieu was once an elite fantasy option, but his value has dropped in recent years. He can still hit .300 in this daunting lineup, but he will begin the season on the IL with a foot issue. It’s just inflammation, so he shouldn’t be out too long.

Jasson Dominguez (OF – NYY)

Dominguez had to get Tommy John surgery in the offseason, but he made a splash in his brief debut with the Yanks last year. Dominguez had a .980 OPS through eight games, living up to his billing as one of the top prospects in the game. He will start the season on the 60-Day IL but shouldn’t miss much time beyond that.

Patrick Wisdom (1B,3B,OF – CHC)

Wisdom is our final hitter this time around. There are really no other hitters worth stashing right now. That’ll surely change once the action starts, but Wisdom is a sneaky source of power to reserve in an IL slot. The slugger is dealing with some back issues, and Chicago is waiting for inflation to subside before deciding on the next step.


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Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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