Headley, Ludwick, Hafner, Baker, Santana: DLWW

Today, I am looking at players coming back from the DL in the last few weeks of the season. Most injured players are just being shut down, so the pickings are slim for players returning.

Chase Headley (finger – 36% owned) – If an owner is needing some help at 3B, Headley is planning on playing the last couple weeks of the season. From team reports, he looks to be available around the 15th. He will help a team maintain or give a small boost to their average. He may not get much of a green light for stealing bases since his finger was fractured on a head first steal. Don’t expcet many, if any, home runs since he has hit only 4 this entire season.

Ryan Ludwick (back – 20% owned) – Ludwick should return from the DL on Wednesday. He is one of the few sources of home runs available on the DL waiver wire. If an an owner is needing help in the home run category, he may be able to provide 2 or 3 additional shots in the final few weeks.

Travis Hafner (foot – 15% owned) – Hafner is already in the middle of his rehab and plans on returning to the team in about a week. Like Ludwick, he is not a great source of home runs, but one of the few sources available. Also, this may be Hafner’s final season, so I could see the team give him plenty of playing time to accumulate RBIs and Runs.

Scott Baker (elbow – 20% owned) – Baker has never been a flashy pitcher, but he is safest bet for a starting pitcher coming off the DL. He has a near 4:1 K to BB ratio for the season. He will make a nice addition to a team needing a little starting pitching help, especially in H2H playoffs.

Johan Santana (shoulder – 8.3% owned) – Santana plans on throwing a few times this season, with the Mets’ game on the 14th being the goal. The start is going to have an inning limit, so the impact will be minimal. He may be a good pick up for an owner that is having one of their other pitchers shut down for the season and needs a fill in. I would be cautious of starting him on his debut game. I would like to see the speed of his fastball and what kind of control he displays. Some owners, especially in H2H playoffs, may not have that luxury of sitting him because they need the stats. I see him as the highest risk/reward option in the up coming weeks.

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 four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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11 years ago

What about Kipnis? I grabbed him and Baker in my H2H to fill DL slots vacated by Beltre and Strasburg.