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Five Injured Players to Stash in Fantasy Baseball - Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 16

Jeffrey Springs - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, Draft Sleepers

Welcome back, RotoBallers, to another weekly edition of the Injured Players to Stash in Fantasy Baseball series! Heading into Week 16, we'll highlight five injured players worth stashing in your fantasy leagues. New to the series? Check out previous articles for even more options!

Many productive players are nearing a return. If you stash them on your IL, it could pay off in the long run. Whether it's pitching, offense, or both, the guys can help.

Only players rostered in less than 60% of Yahoo leagues are eligible for inclusion. The goal is to spotlight overlooked players. Now, let's get into this week's list.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Jeffrey Springs, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

Rostered: 19% Yahoo
Estimated Return: Mid-July

I fail to understand how Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jeffrey Springs (elbow) is still so widely available -- especially since he's on the verge of returning from Tommy John surgery. Since the start of the 2021 season, he's 16-6 in 196 innings. He has a 2.53 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 231:49 K/BB. Good luck trying to find someone on the waiver wire with this kind of potential.

There's nothing to suggest that Springs won't be the same once he's ready. He's looked great throughout his rehab stint. His speeds and pitch shapes are back in pre-surgery form. In 13 1/3 innings with Triple-A Durham, he's got a 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 19:1 K/BB. When he's reinstated, he'll almost certainly make a big, immediate impact. I can't imagine he'll be so available after a start or two. You'll want to be ahead of the curve on this one. Pick him up ASAP.

Joey Ortiz, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers

Rostered: 34% Yahoo
Estimated Return: Mid-July

Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Joey Ortiz has been having a solid year, but neck inflammation has landed him on the 10-day IL. It's been bothering him for a while, but he tried playing through it. Fortunately, it appears his IL stint will be relatively brief.

Through 74 games, Ortiz is slashing .269/.373/.444 (129 OPS+) with 13 doubles, seven home runs, and a 35:43 BB/SO ratio. He's been especially good at home, where he's slashing .272/.376/.527 with six of his homers. Overall, his solid bat-to-ball skills and top-notch discipline make him an intriguing option with a relatively low floor. He's worth rostering in far more than 34% of Yahoo leagues.

 

Matt McLain, 2B/SS, Cincinnati Reds

Rostered: 44% Yahoo
Estimated Return: Late In The Season

Cincinnati Reds middle infielder Matt McLain (shoulder) has been on the 60-day IL all season. Though it appeared he'd miss the whole year, it seems there's a chance he'll return before season's end. Based on reports, he could start swinging a bat soon.

McLain's fantastic rookie year in 2023 resulted in a .290/.357/.507 slash line with 106 hits, 23 doubles, 16 homers, and 14 steals in just 89 games. Though he's been out of the spotlight for a while, he has what it takes to put your team over the top when it matters most. He's dynamic, and he's capable of big things. If you've got an IL spot, there aren't many players I'd recommend picking up over him.

Robbie Ray, SP, San Francisco Giants

Rostered: 24% Yahoo
Estimated Return: Post All-Star Break

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher and 2021 American League Cy Young winner Robbie Ray (elbow) has been out since the very beginning of the 2023 season. Fortunately, his stuff has looked great through 10 2/3 rehab innings. He's got 19 strikeouts and only one walk. As far as rehabbing pitchers go, this is a promising sign.

From 2021-22, Ray was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. In 382 1/3 innings, he posted a 3.27 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 460:114 K/BB. Throughout his career, his stuff has always been there -- he's just struggled with command. But it seems that he's turned it around over the last few years. If his rehab numbers are any indication, his command could be just as good as it was before, or even better.

Overall, it's hard to believe that someone who's three years removed from a Cy Young Award is so widely available. I suggest doing your part in changing that.

 

Kerry Carpenter, OF, Detroit Tigers

Rostered: 47% Yahoo
Estimated Return: Unknown

Detroit Tigers outfielder Kerry Carpenter (back) is one of the best platoon options in all of fantasy baseball. He's done nothing but rake since debuting in 2022. Through 199 games, he's got a .275/.336/.495 slash line (127 OPS+), 31 doubles, 34 homers, and a 49:185 BB/SO. So far this year, he's posted a 152 OPS+ in 163 plate appearances.

As a lefty hitter, almost all of Carpenter's value comes from facing right-handed pitching. He'll seldom even face a lefty pitcher. However, his elite production against righties makes him a valuable platoon option, both in fantasy and real life. If you're in a daily league, he's a must-have.



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