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Five Injured Players to Stash in Fantasy Baseball - Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 9

Welcome back RotoBallers to another weekly edition of Injured Players to Stash fantasy baseball series as we look towards Week 9. This week's article highlights five injured players worth stashing in your leagues for Week 9. If you're new to the series, be sure to check out previous articles for even more options.

This first quarter of the 2024 MLB season is already behind us. No matter where you're ranked in the standings, every team has room for improvement. With that in mind, some currently injured players can bolster your squads in the future. If you've got open IL spots, consider picking them up. Each player listed below is available in at least 40% of Yahoo leagues.

Unlike the articles from the last few weeks, this one includes multiple players who aren't expected to return soon. Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom, and Devin Williams aren't expected to return until after the All-Star break. However, they're nonetheless deserving of a stash based on their widespread availability and sheer upside. Now, let's get into this week's list.

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

 

Jorge Soler, OF, San Francisco Giants

Rostered: 26% Yahoo
Estimated Return: This weekend

San Francisco Giants designated hitter Jorge Soler has been one of baseball's most feared hitters over the last half-decade. However, he struggled for most of April and hit the IL with a shoulder issue in early May. Then, he was struck in the head by a batted ball during batting practice on Tuesday. Luckily, it seems like it hasn't impacted the timetable for his return.

Through 136 plate appearances this year, Soler is only slashing .202/.294/.361 with five HRs and 18 RBI. This is way below his career standards, but it shouldn't hold much weight when it comes to predicting his production in the future. Thirty-four games is a tiny sample size; we need to zoom out for a better understanding. And since the start of 2019, Soler is tied for the 32nd-best slugging percentage among all qualified hitters (.481 SLG). His massive power and propensity for hitting home runs make him a valuable asset in fantasy.

Despite his rocky start in 2024, Soler is still swinging hard. He ranks 15th in average bat speed (75.7 mph) and 12th in fast-swing rate (62.4%). On top of that, he's been very unlucky. Before the injury, he had just a .232 BABIP. To put that into perspective, he has a .287 career BABIP. Overall, there's a strong chance that he'll pick it up once he returns. While he won't provide much contact or speed, his raw pop makes him an intriguing option.

 

Jasson Dominguez, OF, New York Yankees

Rostered: 25% Yahoo
Estimated Return: June/July

Since last week's article, the roster percentage for New York Yankees outfielder Jasson Dominguez has risen by 5 percent in Yahoo leagues. This is mainly because he began a rehab assignment in Single-A on Tuesday. He'll be the designated hitter for around two weeks before returning to the outfield.

Dominguez is one of the most exciting young players in baseball, capable of producing gaudy power-speed numbers. In 295 career minor league games, he's racked up 36 homers, 56 doubles, and 86 stolen bases. His strikeout total (334) may be high, but he's shown tremendous discipline for a player of his age (182 walks). In his first game on Tuesday, he went 1-for-3 with a walk. Notably, the hit came off former Yankee Domingo German.

The biggest concern for Dominguez is the amount of playing time he'll get once he's ready to rejoin the big league roster. With Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, and Alex Verdugo currently starting in the outfield and Giancarlo Stanton clogging the DH spot, Dominguez may have to compete with Verdugo for starts. He should get enough playing time to justify rostering him in daily leagues. In weekly leagues, his value may be relatively limited unless a Yankees outfielder goes down with a injury. Regardless, there aren't many players available in 75% of Yahoo leagues with Dominguez's potential.

 

Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Rostered: 33% Yahoo
Estimated Return: All-Star break

Los Angeles starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw has had one of the best careers in MLB history. Unfortunately, he's been sidelined this year after undergoing shoulder surgery in November. While he may not be the Cy Young-caliber ace that he once was, he's still a great pitcher with tons of fantasy value.

Over the last three seasons, Kershaw has thrown 379.2 IP with a 2.75 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 418 K. Despite being in the "twilight" of his career, the 36-year-old lefty is still dominant. Also, pitching for the Dodgers will surely result in plenty of wins (which are usually crucial in points leagues).

Kershaw isn't expected to make his 2024 debut until the All-Star break. Also, it's possible that Los Angeles runs a six-man rotation to keep all of its pitchers healthy, which would hinder Kershaw's upside, albeit slightly. Regardless, he's widely available and worth stashing if you've got the space.

 

Jacob deGrom, SP, Texas Rangers

Rostered: 50% Yahoo
Estimated Return: Uncertain

Wednesday was the 10-year anniversary of Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jacob deGrom's debut, so it feels right to include him in this week's article. The 35-year-old righty was shut down halfway through last season and underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-June.

From 2018-22, deGrom had one of best stretches we've ever seen. Every time he took the mound, it was must-see TV. In 675.2 IP, he posted a 2.08 ERA and 0.86 WHIP with 921 K, resulting in two NL Cy Young Awards. His fastball was consistently hitting triple digits and his slider was the best secondary pitch in the league. Once he rejoins the Rangers rotation, there's little reason to believe that he won't continue pitching at an elite level.

Like Clayton Kershaw, deGrom is one of this generation's best pitchers. Unlike Kershaw, there isn't a clear timetable for his return, but a 2024 return seems likely. Until it's announced that he won't pitch this year, he should be stashed in every fantasy league. There's a reason that he's rostered in half of Yahoo leagues despite the fact that no one knows when he's coming back. Simply put, no one's ceiling is higher. Even if he's put on an innings limit when he returns, he'd still be worth it on a per-rate basis. If your league has playoffs, picking up deGrom is an even bigger no-brainer because of the boost he'd provide in September.

 

Devin Williams, RP, Milwaukee Brewers

Rostered: 58% Yahoo
Estimated Return: All-Star break

Seriously, how is Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Devin Williams so widely available? He legitimately has a case for the best reliever in baseball. I understand not wanting to stash most relievers that aren't coming back for another two months, but he isn't "most relievers."

At 29 years old, Williams has been on one of the best reliever stretches out there. Since winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2020, he's thrown 200.1 IP with a 1.75 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and a staggering 14.5 K/9. He's also notched 45 saves since taking over as the Brew Crew's permanent closer. With only half a season to support his case for big money in the offseason, he's bound to dominate when he returns.

If Williams is available in your league, put him up. Full stop. There aren't many people who can do what he does.



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