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Fantasy Baseball Injury Stash Rankings & Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 6)

Fantasy Baseball Injury Stash Rankings & Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 6)

These two weeks have been chaotic from an injury standpoint. The good news is more players are coming off the injured list (IL) than going on it, but it can be challenging to keep track of. That’s the point of this article more than anything because we’re trying to rank the players on the IL.

Most won’t be on your waiver wires, but this is an excellent guide to see who’s returning in short order. They might be good buys in your leagues. It’s also a good barometer to see who you can drop because it’s amazing how quickly those IL slots fill up.

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 (Week 6)

Pitchers to Stash Right Now

Walker Buehler (SP – LAD)

We’ve had Walker Buehler at the top of the list for three weeks because we thought he would be back by now. The Dodgers ace has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and made his sixth rehab start on Tuesday. The good news is that it was his best showing, allowing just one run across five innings. That’s his first time reaching five innings. We have to assume he’ll return to the Dodgers for his next start after throwing 75 and 86 pitches in his last two starts.

Blake Snell (SP – SF)

Blake Snell’s injury sounded scary initially, but the news gets better each day. The 2023 National League Cy Young winner had a bullpen session on Wednesday and might not miss more than the minimum 15 days. That’s a quick return from a Grade 2 adductor strain, but that could have him back in action next week.

Max Scherzer (SP – TEX)

Max Scherzer made his first rehab start on April 24 but had his most recent rehab start delayed due to thumb soreness. That’s a frustrating development, but we’re happy it’s not the back that kept him out throughout the offseason. He should be re-evaluated in a few days and could make another rehab start this weekend or next week. Don’t be surprised to see him return after two more rehab starts.

Bobby Miller (SP – LAD)

Bobby Miller was encouraged by a clean MRI on his shoulder, which allowed him to start playing catch last weekend. He’s yet to resume throwing off a mound, but the absence is not expected to be “long-term.” There are still many steps in this rehabilitation. We wouldn’t expect Miller back until late May at the earliest.

Justin Steele (SP – CHC)

We got some great news regarding Justin Steele. The Cubs ace made his first rehab start on Wednesday, allowing three runs across 3.1 innings on 63 pitches. That might not sound great, but Chicago has confirmed he’ll return to the Cubs rotation early next week.

Kyle Bradish (SP – BAL)

Kyle Bradish looked to be on his way to Tommy John surgery in the offseason, but he chose to go the rehab route. That was smart because Bradish is poised to return to the O’s rotation later this week. He’s made three starts at Triple-A, totaling a 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Get this guy if he’s available.

Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY)

Gerrit Cole has been playing catch almost every day and increasing his throwing distance. That’s the first step in an extensive rehab, with throwing off the mound being the next major step. That will progress into facing hitters and then a lengthy rehab assignment, but a June return is definitely in play.

Cristian Javier (SP – HOU)

Injuries have rocked the Astros rotation, but they’re fortunate here. Cristian Javier had a lengthy bullpen session on Sunday and is expected to have another on Thursday. If that goes well, there’s some thought he could return as early as this weekend, but that’s the best-case scenario.

Merrill Kelly (SP – ARI)

This is a murky situation. We haven’t had much of an update since Merrill Kelly landed on the IL on April 24, but his shoulder issue was projected to keep him out for at least a month. He’s been one of the best pitchers in the National League. We need to hold him until we get more information.

Grayson Rodriguez (SP – BAL)

This was a late addition to the article, but we have to include such a talented arm despite the lack of clarity on this situation. Grayson Rodriguez landed on the IL due to shoulder inflammation on Wednesday. We’re waiting for more clarity on the injury. Ironically, John Means and Bradish are coming off the IL this week, so this may be a way to get them acclimated and give Rodriguez two weeks off in his first full season at this level.

On the Border Pitcher Stashes

Paul Sewald, Peter Fairbanks, Jesus Luzardo, Nick Pivetta, Brayan Bello, Kodai Senga, Garrett Whitlock, Bryan Woo, Taj Bradley, Cody Bradford, Jacob deGrom, Tylor Megill, Devin Williams

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Assistant Analyze Moves Who To Pick Up

Hitters to Stash Right Now

Luis Robert (OF – CWS)

Luis Robert keeps seeing his timetable move up, which we love. The All-Star was projected to miss 2-3 months when he suffered a hip flexor in the opening weeks, but it dropped to six weeks. He’s progressed to running at 80% and some light batting practice, which means a rehab assignment could be about a week away. Look for Robert to be back in late May.

Christian Yelich (OF – MIL)

This situation has been slower than Milwaukee would like because they weren’t even sure if they wanted to stick their star on the IL initially. It was the right decision, though, because Christian Yelich has only progressed to throwing from 120 feet. He still has a few steps in his rehab from that back injury. He could be on a timetable similar to Robert.

Josh Lowe (OF – TB)

Josh Lowe was set to return to the Rays on Saturday, but a hammy issue halted that development. That’s not the worst news because it looks like his oblique is fully healed. It sounds like Tampa wants him to resume his rehab assignment on Thursday. It’s possible he’ll make his return next week.

Cody Bellinger (OF – CHC)

Cody Bellinger was a late addition to last week’s article with rib fractures. We haven’t had much info since then. There is some thought he could be back this month, but most rib fractures usually sideline players for about a month.

Mike Trout (OF – LAA)

This was the injury of the week. Mike Trout unfortunately has to get knee surgery to address a torn meniscus. As someone who’s torn their ACL, this is about the best you could hope for when talking about knee surgery. Players typically miss 4-to-8 weeks with this injury, but it will surely hinder Trout’s stolen base resurgence whenever he does return.

Seiya Suzuki (OF – CHC)

Seiya Suzuki is one of many players who suffered an oblique strain in the opening month, but he’s progressing every day. He’s resumed baseball activities but isn’t expected to start a rehab assignment anytime soon. That’s what Craig Counsell said, so we wouldn’t expect him back for at least a few weeks.

Royce Lewis (3B – MIN)

Royce Lewis was the first big-name position player on the IL, suffering a severe quad injury. The good news is he’s been out for over a month and has begun hitting off a tee. That’s the first step, with a June return looking like the most likely outcome.

Nolan Jones (1B, OF – COL)

Nolan Jones was a breakout player for the Rockies last year, but a back injury got him off to a nightmarish start. That’s why Colorado stuck him on the IL, hoping to get him fully healed for the second half. It sounds like he shouldn’t miss much more than the minimum of 10 days, which could have him back in the lineup late next week.

Lane Thomas (OF – WAS)

Lane Thomas was one of the league leaders with 11 steals before landing on the IL due to a Grade 2 MCL sprain. That’s a terrible injury for a speedster. He has no timetable to return. We’d guess he’ll miss about a month of action, with a late May return looking most likely.

Zack Gelof (2B – OAK)

Zack Gelof has developed into Oakland’s best player, but he’s yet another victim of an oblique strain. The second baseman resumed some baseball activities on Wednesday, playing catch and taking grounders. He’ll likely do some light hitting this weekend and could start a rehab assignment next week or the week after.

On the Border Hitter Stashes

Triston Casas, Sean Murphy, Jake Burger, Josh Jung, Francisco Alvarez, Matt McLain, TJ Friedl, Tommy Edman, Brandon Lowe

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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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