With Adam Wainwright done for the year, it raises an interesting question for fantasy owners. What happens if you were unfortunate enough to have Wainwright on your team? Or for that matter if one of your top pitchers gets hurt and will miss most of the season? Here are some options to consider that might get overlooked in your draft that you could steal in the late rounds.

Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda may not be able to produce as many wins as a pitcher like Wainwright, but their upsides are still worth the risk, especially if you can steal them in the later rounds. Kuroda lowered his WHIP last season and finished in the top 20 for pitchers in that category. Also, each season with the Dodgers, Kuroda’s strikeout rates have increased. That paired with a Dodgers offense on the rebound could increase his win totals and give you a solid starter.

Ted Lilly adjusted well after being traded to the Dodgers last season. Lilly won seven starts after the trade for the Dodgers and similar to Kuroda, he has a reputation for a low WHIP. The same argument can be made that an improved Dodger offense could help increase his wins. Also, Lilly is going to be the Dodgers’ number three starter, giving him better pitching match-ups than he got last season with the Cubs.

Jake Peavy is another pitcher to look to steal in the late rounds, as most people will overlook him because of his high O-Rank. Most people will shy away because Peavy is coming off shoulder surgery last season, but all reports from White Sox camp are that Peavy is looking like he could be ready to open the season. Worst case senario, he misses a couple of starts. But with an improved White Sox offense and the benefits of pitching out of the five slot in the rotation, Peavy should be able to pick up more wins than people would expect. Also, if Peavy can return close to his old form, look for high strike out numbers this year.

Johan Santana is another pitcher coming back from injury that people might shy away from. Santana won’t be back until mid-June, but if you’re in a league with two or three DL spots, it might be worth drafting him, putting him on the DL and picking up a filler pitcher until he gets back. With the exception of Philadelphia, Santana won’t face much competition or many hitter-friendly parks in his own division, and if Reyes and Beltran can stay healthy and Bay can return to old form, look for the Mets to pick up more wins this season and give Santana more run support, something he has lacked the past couple seasons.

By Trey Nelson

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