Here is a look at a few player owned in under 50% of all leagues in ESPN on the DL soon and could make an impact, good and bad, on your fantasy team.
Brandon Webb (Shoulder) 4.3% owned – Today, Brandon is making a rehab in AA. I usually advise picking up a player if you happen to have an open slot DL. In Brandon’s case, don’t waste one. There are better players available on the DL right now that should be picked up. The big concern with Brandon is his fastball, more specifically, a lack of one. He previously threw a fastball around 88 MPH. Current reports put Brandon’s fastball at 4 MPH slower or about 84 MPH. Even if he gets his curve ball back to where it was previously, a 84 MPH fast ball will probably not cut it in the majors.
Brandon McCarthy (Shoulder) 2.7% owned – Brandon has had shoulder problems in the past. He said he used to pitch through the discomfort he felt in his shoulder. He decided not to pitch through the pain this time and hopes to return sooner from the DL. His time table for returning has not been set yet, but before going on the DL, he was putting up some decent numbers. He had a K/BB of 3.7 and an ERA 3.57. His ERA could have actually been a little inflated since he had a FIP of 2.42 and a slightly high BABIP of 0.319. He could be a nice addition to a pitching staff when he returns. An owner should wait until he is for sure coming back and throwing before picking him up.
Travis Hafner (oblique) 23.8% owned – He is being dropped quite a bit in leagues. I know he only has DH intelligibility and at least 3 weeks from returning, but he is hitting 0.345 with 5 home runs. He definitely belongs on some owner’s DL or bench. A no brainer.
Derrek Lee (Oblique) 33.4% owned – Derrek begins baseball activities today and is able to come off the DL on Wednesday. It may be a few days later as he may need a little more rehab. He is not the ideal 1B candidate, but he has hitting for some power this season (4 home runs). I fully expect him to be owned in AL only and most deeper leagues due to a lack of options. In shallower leagues, I would expect there to be better players available than this declining vet when he returns.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.