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 Jacob deGrom is going to miss some time – that much is obvious.

How much, we can only speculate right now. As pitching injuries go, a hyperextended elbow isn’t standard fare, but any time there’s trauma to one of the critical components of the most unnatural act in professional sports, you can anticipate a less-than-straightforward recovery

For starters, are we sure it’s only hyperexteded? I ask because that’s what Gleyber Torres was presumed to have when he made an early departure from a Triple-A game last June. A few days later, he was having Tommy John surgery.

But obviously, we can’t rank deGrom assuming a worst-case scenario that may not even be realistic. That would be the height of paranoia. And deGrom himself said it didn’t bother him pitching, just hitting (he actually threw an inning after suffering the injury).

Absent a long list of comparables, we don’t know what comes next for him in the hours after the injury. Presumably, his absence will measure in weeks, but how many? Six is the standard middle-of-the-road guess and as good as any for now. Something as short as two would honestly surprise me. 

It’s kind of the same place we find ourselves with Johnny Cueto, who to this point has only been diagnosed with elbow inflammation — or so we’ve been led to believe. He’s seeking second and third opinions, though, most notably from the harbinger of reconstructive surgery, Dr. James Andrews. Clearly, he’s not liking what he’s hearing.

But is he not liking that he’ll have to shut it down for a month, or for an entire season? It’s a total stab in the dark right now, which means our only option is to wait to hear more.

So even though deGrom and Cueto are both at risk of seeing their value plummet, they’re above the “potentially droppable” threshold for me, which runs about through Miguel Sano on this list. Their upside is too high in too plausible of a scenario to presume the worst-case.

I’m not saying anyone after Sano should be dropped, but in shallower leagues where you’re strapped for space, it’s defensible. And obviously, format makes a difference. In Head-to-Head points leagues, where starting pitching is in higher demand, Rich Hill is above the threshold. In Rotisserie leagues, where the stolen base scarcity counts for something, Byron Buxton is above it.

Again, the criteria for DL stashability is as follows …

  1. How good is the player?
  2. What’s the timetable?
  3. How likely is the injury to impact his performance?

For now, deGrom’s place here is theoretical, but I think it’s safe to assume at least a DL stint for him.

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