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MLB players returning from injury for start of 2020 season

We take a look at some of the fantasy relevant players healing up in time for the 2020 MLB season.

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros in action against the New York Mets during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park on March 8, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 3-1. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Major League Baseball season is set to return in late July and that means it is time to get back into fantasy mode. And figuring out who is available for these 60 games is a good start for your research. We’ve compiled a list of players below who looked iffy to start the regular season due to injuries but who are now likely to play from Day 1 and be helpful to your fantasy lineups.

Aaron Judge, 1B, Yankees

Judge had a cracked rib that he’s been dealing with for a long time. He is still healing, with no official timetable for a return. Keep an eye on his status in the next couple weeks. If he can start swinging soon, he should get enough at bats to be useful this season.

Adalberto Mondesi, SS/2B, Royals

Mondesi had a torn labrum fixed last October and was iffy to be a full go for the regular season, but he should be good now. He still needs to work on his plate discipline, but his speed is already worth a lot in fantasy leagues.

Carlos Rodon, P, White Sox

The White Sox starter had Tommy John a year ago May. He might still need more time, but in April he said he felt he was on pace to be able to pitch in a game situation by June.

Cole Hamels, P, Braves

Hamels had a shoulder injury in April that was supposed to keep him out around a month. The lefty still has good stuff. He topped a strikeout per inning with the Cubs last season and should have a good chance for wins behind Atlanta’s strong offense this season.

Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Reds

Suarez was second in home runs last season but did have shoulder surgery this offseason and might have been eased back at the regular start to the season. But now he should be ready to go for a Reds team that has upped their offensive game overall.

James Paxton, P. Yankees

Paxton had lumbar surgery this offseason and was supposed to return around mid-May. He should be ready to go now. He’s coming off his first season as a Yankee where he went 16-6 with a 3.82 ERA. He should be a strong fantasy presence again this year.

Justin Verlander, P, Astros

Verlander had a lat strain and ended up having groin surgery in March, which would have kept him out to start the season. It appears now that the Astros’ 37-year old ace will be healthy enough to pitch from Day 1.

Mike Clevinger, P, Indians

Clevinger had knee surgery last February and appears ready to go with the late start. He might not be starting on Day 1, but he should be ramping things up enough by that point to be close enough to feel good about drafting Cleveland’s ace.

Mitch Haniger, OF, Mariners

Haniger had surgeries on his groin and back this offseason and looked iffy to start the season. It’s still not a lock he starts Day 1, but if he does, his upside is good enough to keep on your fantasy radar.

Shohei Ohtani, P, Angels

Ohtani had Tommy John Surgery in 2018 and was set to return to pitching this season. He will likely pitch just once a week, but as long as he stays healthy, he’s going to give you strong numbers every time he starts to go along with his hitting prowess.

Willie Calhoun, OF, Rangers

Calhoun had his jaw broken by a pitch this spring training and was going to miss time, but he should be fine to start the shortened season. He batted .269 with 21 homers and an .848 OPS over 337 plate appearances last year and won’t have to share time with Nomar Mazara this season.

Yordan Alvarez, DH, Astros

In March, Dusty Baker was not sure if Alvarez would be available for the start of the season. The extended delay should have him good to go.

Players returning after missing 2019

Giancarlo Stanton, LF/DH, Yankees
Corey Kluber, P, Rangers
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Phillies
Lance McCullers, P, Astros
Dellin Betances, RP, Mets
Miguel Andujar, 3B, Yankees
Salvador Perez, C, Royals

Out for season

Chris Sale, P. Red Sox
Luis Severino, P. Yankees
Noah Syndergaard, P. Mets