The DL slot is fantasy baseball's security blanket. It can help managers feel better about their teams. Sure you're team is toiling at the bottom of your league's standings, but on Saturday that will all change when you can put
Players often look better than they actually are when they sit on the DL, especially when they start the season injured. It's the same type of unproven optimism that every fantasy manager has immediately after the draft.
You see, Matsuzaka hasn't thrown a pitch in the majors in 2010, so there's no evidence to show that last year's poor performance was an aberration. There is still hope that the Red Sox righty can bounce back to his '08 form when he won 18 games and had a 2.90 earned run average in 29 appearances.
However, their returns will shake up lineups and send some early season contributors to the bench, the bullpen, or even the minors.
Lee's (abdominal injury) return will make the biggest fantasy impact of all the players coming off the DL this weekend. Not just because the lefty has won 36 games over the last two seasons, but also because of the changes the Mariners will need to make to accompany him.
Lee is obviously a must-start every time he takes the mound. His fantasy owners should pull him off the DL, plug him into the starting lineup, and expect an above-average outing from him Friday night at home against the Rangers.
During Lee's absence, fellow starters
However, not only has Fister been the best of the three, his 1.67 ERA and 0.93 walks plus hits per inning through 27 innings has made him a worthwhile mixed league fantasy starter. Vargas has gone 2-1 with a mid-3.00's ERA and Snell has struggled.
Lee's return will send Snell to the bullpen, and a trip to the fantasy waiver wire should also be in his future.
When Kinsler sprained his ankle in the preseason, the Rangers originally hoped for an April 10 return, but that date seemed extremely optimistic. Kinsler will return before May... one day before. Coincidentally, his first at-bat of will most likely come against Lee as the Rangers travel to Safeco.
Like Lee, Kinsler is a player that can be moved straight from the fantasy DL to the starting lineup. The second baseman had two hits and drove in two runs in Wednesday's rehab start with the Class AA Frisco Roughriders.
Kinsler's return could mean the end for
However, there is a chance that they will keep both and move first baseman
Both the Phillies and Lidge's fantasy owners are hoping that the reliever's return is coming at the perfect time ... "hoping" being the key word.
Lidge is coming off multiple surgeries (knee, elbow). He picked up 31 saves last year, which was OK. He had 11 blown saves and eight losses, which was bad. He posted a 7.21 ERA, which was awful.
Fantasy owners should cross their fingers in hopes that Lidge can perform closer to his '08 level, when he had 41 saves and a sub-2.00 ERA.
The Red Sox expect Matsuzaka (back, neck) to start Saturday at Baltimore. He threw a 69-pitch simulated game on Monday, and pitching coach
His return to the rotation will push knuckleballer
The move will likely mark the end of either
Matsuzaka is a player that many fantasy owners took a flier on in the middle-to-late rounds of the fantasy draft. At the very least, he'll be an above-average source of strikeouts and wins. He does have the potential to be a very good third starter in fantasy or an OK second starter, but just be wary of his career 1.40 WHIP.
Unlike the first four players listed, Zimmerman has played this season. He has, however, missed seven consecutive games with a hamstring injury. The Nationals hope to get the slugging third baseman back into the starting lineup Friday for the series in Florida. The team thinks it will be better to start him off in a warmer climate.
Zimmerman has dealt with hamstring issues off and on throughout the season's opening month. What's been frustrating for his fantasy owners is that despite missing seven games and being limited in a handful of others, he's never gone on the DL. So it's been a daily chore to see if he'll be playing or not.
The good news is that there are reports that the Nationals are being cautious with Zimmerman. Whether he's able to play this weekend or not, I expect him to be back to every day duty next week.
If Blanton (oblique) had his way, he'd start the Phillies' next game. Even though he allowed five runs (including two homers) in five innings during his Class AA start on Wednesday, Blanton is telling anyone who's listening that he's ready to go.
Blanton could start for the Phillies as early as Monday. He'll be welcomed back to the rotation, especially after the team had to put starter
The team expects Happ back in less than a month.
Those above are coming back soon, but there are plenty of other players still icing down their aches and pains. The Twins are calling
* All stats up-to-date as of 04/29/10.
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