The DL on the DL: Pitchers Not Ready Yet for the Start of the Season

Well, this is my first post here at FanGraphs. This season, I will be be updating an ongoing injury data set and writing about injuries on the main and fantasy sides of the website. Also, I will write whatever else I have time for that Mr. Hulet and Mr. Cameron will allow. Let me know if there is any injury specific information that you want and I will gladly try to work on it.

One series I plan on running is a look at different injuries types, what the injury entails in simple terms and how it affects a player. So without further ado, here are some pitchers that will be on the DL due to injuries once the season begins:

Ted Lilly – Ted looks to be out until late April after having objects removed from shoulder. You might want to monitor him for a start or two when he come back, but there should be no real worries with him. Looks like a great candidate in deep and NL leagues to stick in your DL slot once he becomes DL eligible.

J.P. Howell – Looks like he is also going to be out until the end of April. Rafael Soriano will get the first crack at the closing job with Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler waiting in the wings.

Brad Lidge – Brad had a rough off-season having surgery on his knees (loose objects) and elbow (loose objects again). He is currently rehabilitating and is aiming for a April 10 return to the roster. Looks like Ryan Madson will get the first shot at the closer role in Philly in Lidge’s absence.

Cliff Lee – Cliff isn’t able to pitch yet and if you planned on him this year, you may need to find a backup for a couple weeks as he gets healthy.

Kerry Wood – At least it’s his back hurt and not his shoulder or elbow so there may be a chance he will come back this season. In his absence, grab Chris Perez. He has the closer role for now and should eventually take it over. After all, it’s not like Kerry isn’t going to go on the DL a couple more times this year.

Erik BedardErik Bedard on the DL? You may be as surprised as I am. Looks like right now he is aiming for a June return. If you have a free DL slot you might want to stick him there (once he become eligible) and wait, but if a little more reliable player needs the slot, drop Bedard, as there is a chance he may never pitch this season.

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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

4 Responses to “The DL on the DL: Pitchers Not Ready Yet for the Start of the Season”

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  1. Noonzeo says:

    Lilly went undrafted in my 10 team mixed keeper league…seriously! I’ve got my waiver claim in for him to stash for a month and hopefully enjoy 5 months near last years production…nice

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  2. Nick says:

    What about Brandon Webb and Edinson Volquez?

    Good article. Will definitely help me in fantasy this year.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I am back logged pretty good, but I have an article with Voquez running tomorrow. Webb looks more and more iffy every day. I haven’t heard any good news from him in a while. I will run another set of pitchers probably by Monday.

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  3. Dann M. says:

    Noonzeo, you probably made a good decision. He threw 51 pitches (31 strikes) on Wednesday on a rehab start for Triple A-Iowa. One walk and one hit in 4 innings. The walk was “weird” – just lost it for a minute and walked a guy on 4 pitches. The hit was a homer. Everything else went great, and he feels fine.

    It’s looking like one more rehab start Monday (not sure for which club). The reports say the Cubs want him going “deeper into a game” or some such, which makes me think that 75-80 pitches/6 innings is the goal. He also benefits from coming back as the 5th starter by default because of the good overall starting pitching the club’s received in victory and defeat (outside of Big Z’s opening day), so they can keep him on a 90-pitch/leave-with-the-lead pitch count for a couple weeks. Outside of IP bonuses, it’s a win-win for fantasy owners.

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