Regan's Rumblings: Finding Value on the Disabled List

Regan's Rumblings: Finding Value on the Disabled List

This article is part of our Regan's Rumblings series.

This week I'll take a close look at a handful of guys set to return from the DL over the next few weeks. Many of these guys will be owned in deeper leagues, particularly those that allow for picking guys up off waivers and stashing them on the DL, but there should be several leagues in which many of these guys are or will shortly become eligible to be picked up.

Jake Lamb (3B-ARI) -
Lamb is set to begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A Reno this week, and as I live here, I'm going to try to catch one of his games later in the week. Lamb if you recall, won the third-base job with a solid spring and continued his hot hitting into April, batting .414/.514/.690 with an excellent 3:6 K:BB through 10 games before suffering a stress reaction in his foot and landing on the DL. He's expected back about June 15, but where does he fit? The $68.5 million man, Yasmany Tomas, has yet to show much power with one homer in 128 at-bats, but he's hitting a promising .320/.356/.398 and that's a lot of money. Another possibility would be moving one of the two to left field, thus eating into the playing time of Ender Inciarte (.291/.323/.379) and David Peralta (.258/.328/.483).

Likely scenario: The Diamondbacks take it slow with Lamb's rehab assignment with the hopes that things sort themselves out through an injury, prolonged slump by someone, or perhaps another trade. Mark Trumbo was

This week I'll take a close look at a handful of guys set to return from the DL over the next few weeks. Many of these guys will be owned in deeper leagues, particularly those that allow for picking guys up off waivers and stashing them on the DL, but there should be several leagues in which many of these guys are or will shortly become eligible to be picked up.

Jake Lamb (3B-ARI) -
Lamb is set to begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A Reno this week, and as I live here, I'm going to try to catch one of his games later in the week. Lamb if you recall, won the third-base job with a solid spring and continued his hot hitting into April, batting .414/.514/.690 with an excellent 3:6 K:BB through 10 games before suffering a stress reaction in his foot and landing on the DL. He's expected back about June 15, but where does he fit? The $68.5 million man, Yasmany Tomas, has yet to show much power with one homer in 128 at-bats, but he's hitting a promising .320/.356/.398 and that's a lot of money. Another possibility would be moving one of the two to left field, thus eating into the playing time of Ender Inciarte (.291/.323/.379) and David Peralta (.258/.328/.483).

Likely scenario: The Diamondbacks take it slow with Lamb's rehab assignment with the hopes that things sort themselves out through an injury, prolonged slump by someone, or perhaps another trade. Mark Trumbo was traded to the Mariners on Wednesday, a move that foreshadows Tomas moving back to the outfield. Lamb will play regularly somewhere in the big leagues by the end of June, if not before.

Yasiel Puig (OF-LAD) -
OK, Puig is certainly owned in all but the shallowest (three-team mixed?) leagues, but his return from a hamstring injury should happen sometime in the next week or two, and there will be ripple effects. Puig was batting .279/.380/.465 in 50 at-bats when he went down, but he'll certainly return to being the team's everyday right fielder, and given the Dodgers' offense lately, it will be a welcome return indeed. Look for him to hit second between Joc Pederson and Adrian Gonzalez. With Pederson obviously the everyday center fielder, this leaves Alex Guerrero and Andre Ethier set to split time in left, perhaps in a strict platoon, with Guerrero seeing time at third base once or twice a week as well. Carl Crawford (oblique - July est. return) and Scott Van Slyke (back - return unknown) will eventually return as well to further cloud the picture. Expect a trade or two next month to help clear this mess up.

Oswaldo Arcia (OF-MIN) -
Arcia could return as early as the next week or so from a hip injury, though as of yet, an exact date is unknown. He was batting .276/.338/.379 in 58 at-bats prior to getting hurt, showing improved contact ability over last year as evidenced by a 23.1 K% versus 2014's 31 percent. On the down side, his .103 ISO compares less favorably with last year's .221 mark, but he's still just 24, so there should be years of 20-25 homers still in his future. No one doubts that the power will be there, and if he can keep his strikeout rate at its current level, Arcia should be able to improve greatly upon last year's .231 average. He's probably not worth a 12-team mixed league pickup, but owners in deeper leagues in need of an outfielder with some upside may want to look Arcia's way. It seems likely that Eduardo Escobar, and to a lesser extent, Eddie Rosario, will be most impacted by Arcia's return.

Wil Myers (OF-SD) -
Defensive concerns aside, it appears Myers has benefitted from his second change of scenery and his first run as a National League player. Myers was batting .291/.340/.493 with five homers and three steals in 134 at-bats prior to his wrist injury back in mid-May. He's hoping to return in mid-June, so if you're in desperate need of outfield help, he's worth a DL/roster stash. Myers has actually seen his walk rate drop from 9.4 to 6.3 percent year over year, but he's striking out far less than last year (18.1 vs. 24.9 percent) and most important, his power stroke is back. Myers last year posted a meager .098 ISO versus this year's .202. I won't worry too much about a .330 BABIP given two years ago he managed a .368 mark, but his style and approach suggest getting to a .300 average consistently might be a stretch. Myers' return will have the biggest negative impact on Wil Venable.

Ike Davis (1B-OAK) -
First base is pretty deep this year with the emergence of guys like Brandon Belt and the return of Prince Fielder to elite status. Davis represents a potentially available option in deeper leagues, as while he's regressed the past couple years, he's still just 28 and was hitting a decent .282/.348/.427 prior to straining his quad May 17. Davis is closing in on a return, however, and if he can hit anywhere near .280 while showing some of his past power upside, he could be a nice buy low for 1B/CI-needy teams the rest of the way. He's not walking as much as he used to, as Davis' 9.6 BB% while solid, is down three full points from his career mark. Where he's making up for it, however, is an improved ability to make contact when he swings. Davis is hitting more ground balls this year than in years past, thus accounting for part of the power decline, but that's correctable, and if he can hit in the .270s the rest of the way, you have a nice buy low. Davis' return will impact the playing time of Mark Canha and Max Muncy, neither of whom are hitting all that well.

John Jaso (C-TB) -
Getting any sore of production out of catcher can be challenging, and the position is as thin as ever this year. No longer is Joe Mauer catcher-eligible, and players like Jonathan Lucroy, Travis d'Arnaud and Devin Mesoraco have suffered significant injuries. Jaso has yet to don the tools of ignorance after injuring his wrist Opening Day and making just one plate appearance. He's nearing a return now, so if you're hurting at catcher, the career .259/.359/.399 hitter may be worth a look. Jason had topped a 15.0 BB% in 2012 and 2013 before regressing to 8.1 percent last year, but he should still plenty of value given the lack of competition at catcher in Tampa Bay. Rene Rivera is the primary catcher, but he's more of a defensive guy given his .168/.214/.255 slash.

Matt Moore (SP-TB) -
Moore (Tommy John surgery) is closing in on his first big-league pitch since April 2014, and though he could certainly take time to get his velocity and location back, he's shown flashes of top-of-the-rotation potential and is still just 25. Moore was clocked at 89-91 mph in a recent 52-pitch rehab outing, and considering his fastball velocity averaged 92.4 mph in 2013, he's not too far off. Moore has often struggled with his control, but he's certainly young enough to turn that around if he's healthy. Moore likely will need several more rehab starts before joining the Rays' rotation later this month, thus bumping either Nate Karns or, more likely, Erasmo Ramirez from the rotation.

Devon Travis (2B-TOR) -
Travis' return is estimated for June 10, but he felt some residual shoulder soreness playing in rehab games and was shut down. If the extra treatment and rest proves effective, he could rejoin the Blue Jays next week, where he'll slot right back in as the everyday second baseman given he's hitting a solid .271/.336/.504 with a surprising seven home runs in 133 at-bats. Travis hit 10 in exactly 400 at-bats last year, so the power development has been a major positive. He's likely stashed on someone's DL in your league, but if you need 2B help, perhaps you can get him for below market value given the potential uncertainty around his recent soreness.

Matt Wieters (C-BAL) -
Wieters is just about back from June 2014 Tommy John surgery, as he's slated to rejoin the Orioles on Friday after catching the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday at Triple-A Norfolk and playing DH in the second game. He went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and a walk. Wieters, 28, was hitting .300/.339/.500 in 26 games last year prior to going down, but after all the prospect hype he received climbing the ladder in Baltimore, he's still yet to hit over .262 in a full season and his career high in HR is 23. Not bad at all for a catcher, but not quite up to lofty expectations. It may take Wieters some time for his stroke to return, but upon activation, he should be a starter in all but the shallowest of formats. Wieters has the look and pedigree of a player who has a few more All-Star type seasons ahead of him, though first he'll need to reverse last year's 5.4 BB% as well as weather a likely drop in his 2014 .338 BABIP. With a .727 OPS, Caleb Joseph has done solid work behind the plate in Wieters' absence, but he's about to lose a lot of playing time. The team could use Wieters at DH on occasion, so I wouldn't yet drop Joseph in deep leagues.

Dilson Herrera (2B-NYM) -
Sidelined since May 15 with a fracture to the tip of one of his fingers, Herrera will begin a rehab assignment this week and should return soon to a .235/.297/.353 slash line. It's a modest performance, but Herrera offers excellent upside from a middle infielder, hitting .340/.406/.560 with 10 homers and nine steals in just 61 games in Double-A last season. All told, Herrera hit 16 homers and swiped 23 bases in 146 games a year ago split between High-A, Double-A and 18 MLB games. He's still just 21, so there will be growing pains, but in his prime, Herrera could be a top-five fantasy second baseman with that sort of power/speed combination.

Travis d'Arnaud (C-NYM) -
D'Arnaud lasted just 11 games before suffering a broken hand and landing on the DL with a .317/.356/.537 slash. Just when it appeared that he was finally having a breakout season at the ripe old age of 26, the injuries unfortunately kicked in again. D'Arnaud is set to resume his minor league rehab assignment Thursday and if he comes out of the next handful of games healthy, it's possible we could see him in games at some point next week. D'Arnaud has rare pop for a catcher, and while he's no lock to pick up where he left off, he should be used in all leagues.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Regan
David Regan is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner, including the 2015 Baseball Article of the Year and the 2010 Baseball Writer of the Year.
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