Britton, Santana, Hudson, Napoli: DL on the DL

Zach Britton (BAL – P) – In 2011, Britton started his first season in the majors on a tear. After his first 10 games, the ground ball pitcher had a 2.35 ERA and 5 Wins. The good start to the season was because of an extremely low BABIP (0.242). Over the next 10 games, he had an 8.00 ERA that was BABIP (0.410) driven. At this point in the season, he went on the DL for 17 days with should inflammation. After the short DL stint, he came back and pitched much better, with an 4.47 ERA and a 0.282 BABIP. During the whole time, he was able to maintain a relatively constant strikeout rate, walk rate and fastball speed.

This off season, he stated that his shoulder has still been in pain. He had an MRI on it that came back negative. With that news, he has begun long toss sessions to get ready for the season. The 23-year-old stated that he will just have to deal with the inflammation at various times over his career.

For 2012 drafts and auctions, I would be cautious of him. Don’t over pay for a player who may start the season on the DL and/or make a couple trips to it during the season. Monitor his progress this spring training while keeping expectations low.

Johan Santana (NYM – P) – The 32-year-old threw off a mound for the first time since the end of the 2010 season on Sunday. He is slowly making his way back from surgery to repair a tear in his left shoulder.

Even with the progress, I would stay as far away from the 32-year-old as possible. The main reason to stay away is the operation he had to repair his shoulder has a horrible success rate. Kelvim Escobar had the surgery in May 2010 and hasn’t been back to the majors. Chien-Ming Wang was finally able to make it back to the majors in 2011 after his surgery in July 2009. Mark Prior also had the operation and his struggles to return to the majors is well documented.

I just don’t see Santana making much of an impact this season. The only way I would roster him would be with an empty DL slot.

Tim Hudson (ATL -P) – The 36-year-old righty is planning of missing the first month of the 2012 season for surgery he had on his back in late November. The surgery wasn’t too serious, but just plan on him missing some time early on in the season.

Mike Napoli (TEX – C/1B) – Napoli turned his ankle in a horrible looking injury during the World Series. He has stated that he is rehabbing the injury and the ankle should be 100% by opening day. The injury isn’t a huge deal with him because the Rangers can play him as the DH if his ankle needs more time to heal.

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Jeff 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 season in Tout Wars, he won the H2H league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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