Injury Report: Filling the DL Spots Part 2

Earlier today I unveiled the first part of this article series. Below, I've highlighted for more injured players that owners should consider drafting and stashing on the disabled list (DL) in fantasy leagues.

Joakim Soria

Injury: Torn UCL

Surgery Date: April 2, 2012

Anticipated Return: Soria is hopeful he'll return by late May.

Soria is attempting to comeback from his second Tommy John surgery. The Royals declined to pick up his option after he missed all of last season, and the Rangers inked him to a contract with the intent to have him setup for Joe Nathan. Nathan successfully returned from his own Tommy John operation to close for the Rangers last season. Soria was lights out as the Royals closer from 2007-2010, but struggled through a down year in his last healthy season, 2011. Upon further scrutiny, the gap between what he was doing in his brilliant seasons and his down year wasn't as great as his ERA would suggest. He missed bats, kept his walks in check, but dealt with a career worst home run-per-flyball rate (HR/FB) and career worst strand rate. If he regains his pre-surgery form he should be capable of handling a high leverage bullpen role for the Rangers. Such a role would make him a valuable option in holds leagues, and it could put him in line for some vulture saves, or more, if Nathan struggles or is forced to miss time.

Relevant Leagues: 14 team or larger mixed leagues and AL-only leagues with more than two DL spots, or 12 team mixed leagues and AL-only leagues that count holds with two DL spots.

Michael Pineda

Injury: Torn labrum

Surgery Date: May 1, 2012

Anticipated Return: He's expected to be ready to return by May or June.

Pineda's start to his Yankee career got off to a disastrous start. He failed to throw a pitch in the regular season and eventually went under the knife. Unfortunately, the surgery was on his shoulder, and return to full strength from surgery to repair a torn labrum has a much lower success rate than returning from Tommy John surgery on the elbow. Jay Jaffe took an in-depth look at major-league pitchers who underwent labrum surgery in the hopes of find an appropriate comp. There have been success stories for pitchers coming back from this surgery, and Pineda was a tantalizing young pitcher coming off an outstanding rookie season with the Mariners at this time last year. He's a total wild card, but one that awards his drafters a potential windfall on their late round or low auction dollar investment.

Relevant Leagues: Most leagues, with the exception of shallow mixed leagues, that have two DL spots or more.

Neftali Feliz

Injury: Torn UCL

Surgery Date: August 1, 2012

Anticipated Return: Late this season.

After three dynamite seasons in the Rangers bullpen, Feliz was converted back to a starter last year. He pitched in eight games, starting seven. His 3.16 ERA suggests it was a seamless transition, but his 4.85 BB/9 and 7.80 K/9 required a miniscule BABIP and high strand rate to shine. He has an electric arm, and while it may be enticing to the Rangers to attempt to use him as a starter again, it may be in Feliz's best interest to allow him to grip it and rip it out of the bullpen again. Geoff Young attempted to tackle the issue of Feliz career path may look like over at Baseball Prospectus. Some of the possibilities he suggested are intriguing and would make Feliz a dynasty league option, but he's not a player to get excited about stashing in re-draft leagues.

Relevant Leagues: Dynasty leagues only.

Brandon Beachy

Injury: Torn UCL

Surgery Date: June 21, 2012

Anticipated Return: Middle of June.

Between all of 2011 in the majors, and a big chunk of 2012, Beachy accumulated 237.2 innings of superb work in the bigs. How he succeeded in each of those seasons was drastically different. In 2011 he had a staggering strike rate of 10.74 K/9 with a solid 2.92 BB/9 and an extremely low groundball rate. Last year he missed fewer bats, 7.56 K/9, walked a few more batters, 3.22 BB/9, but made huge gains to his groundball rate. He benefited from a .200 BABIP last year, and his 2.00 ERA overstates how good he was, but Beachy was in the process of validating that he was more than a one hit wonder. He'll have an opportunity to pick up where he left off this year at some point. Now is as good of time as any to remind readers that every pitcher's recovery is different from Tommy John. If all goes smooth Beachy may be able to help fantasy owners down the stretch run.

Relevant Leagues: All leagues with DL slots and larger mixed leagues or NL-only leagues with large benches.