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Transaction Analysis: Notable Moves this Week

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

There were few moves made this week that may have fantasy implications. Here's a look at the top transactions of the past week.

FRIDAY, JUNE 11

Nate McLouth to the 15-day DL

The Braves' center fielder was already off to a terrible start to the season before he injured his head on June 9. McLouth collided with teammate Jason Heyward and hit his head on the turf, suffering a concussion in the process. He was batting just .176 (30 for 170) at the time, with only three home runs and 14 RBIs. Hopefully some time off will allow him to re-evaluate his approach and get back to his productivity levels of the past few years. In the mean time, the Braves will use a combination of Melky Cabrera, Gregor Blanco, and Omar Infante to man the left field and center field spots. Through Thursday, Cabrera is hitting .249 while splitting time between left and center. Blanco is 2 for 2 since his promotion in late May, and Infante is hitting an impressive .319 in 135 at-bats as a super-sub. Rookie shortstop Brandon Hicks was called up to fill McLouth's spot on the Braves roster and will be used sparingly.

Carlos Santana promoted from Triple-A

The Indians called up their top prospect Santana on Friday, and he should be their regular catcher going forward. He batted in the number three spot in their lineup on Friday, and went 0 for 3 in his Major League debut. Santana was tearing it up at Triple-A Columbus before his promotion, hitting .316 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs in just 196 at-bats, and is definitely worth a look. The 24-year-old may experience some growing pains in his debut campaign, but he has the potential to develop into one of the better offensive catchers in baseball in the years to come. Lou Marson swapped places with Santana, as he was sent down to Columbus. Marson, who was getting the majority of the playing time behind the plate for the Indians, earned his demotion by hitting just .191 with one home run in 141 at-bats.

SATURDAY, JUNE 12

Daisuke Matsuzaka to the 15-day DL

Matsuzaka was awful last year, going 4-6 with an ERA of 5.76 and a terrible WHIP of 1.87 while battling injuries. This year, he tried to show that his 2009 season was an aberration, and he did manage to turn things around somewhat, going 5-2 with a 4.59 ERA after eight starts. Dice-K complained of tightness in his right forearm during his warm-up for his scheduled start on Saturday, forcing the Red Sox to make a last-minute move. They called up left-handed reliever Dustin Richardson right before the game to give them an extra arm in the bullpen, and asked reliever Scott Atchison to make an emergency start (the first of his Major League career). Matsuzaka may only miss one start, as he's eligible to return on June 23, and the Sox will call on rookie Felix Doubront to make that start. Doubront is 6-1 this year with a 2.11 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A and could have some value if he finds a way to stick around with the Sox.

Rich Harden to the 15-day DL

For the last several years, Harden has missed significant time to injuries, but has been extremely effective when he has pitched. While Harden once again finds himself on the disabled list, his effectiveness has been completely absent so far this year. He has struggled mightily, posting a 3-3 record to go with an ERA of 5.68 and a WHIP of 1.68 in his first 13 starts. His biggest issue has been his control, as he's managed to walk 43 batters in just 65 innings. He's also served up 14 long balls in that time frame, and has just three quality starts out of 13. It was revealed that Harden had been pitching with a strained gluteus muscle for some time, so hopefully some recovery time will help him improve on those numbers significantly. The Rangers called up rookie Alexi Ogando from Triple-A Oklahoma, and Matt Harrison will replace Harden in the rotation. Harrison is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA (5.58 for his career), and should be avoided.

TUESDAY JUNE 15

Conor Jackson traded to Oakland

The D-Backs finally cut Jackson loose after a couple of injury plagued seasons. Since the start of the 2009 season, he appeared in only 72 games for Arizona, batting just .216 with two home runs and 25 RBIs in 250 at-bats. He'll look to turn things around with a new club, although it's unclear how much playing time he'll get with the A's. He's never been a big power threat, but was a career .287 hitter prior to last year, so he has shown that he can handle the bat in the past. At this point though, he'd be a risky fantasy choice. The A's demoted rookie outfielder Matt Carson to clear the way for Jackson to join the team. Carson had one hit (a home run) in nine at-bats for Oakland.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16

Chad Billingsley to the 15-day DL

Billingsley felt something in his groin during his start on Friday night, and complained of tightness in the area during a bullpen session on Tuesday. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but the Dodgers opted to give him some time off to recover from his strained right groin. Billingsley has been a very reliable member of the Dodgers pitching staff since his debut in 2006, posting a 53-34 mark and a 3.64 ERA for his career. This season he began the year by going 6-4 with an ERA of 4.34 and 69 strikeouts in over 76 innings. Carlos Monasterios, who was expected to return to the bullpen due to the imminent return of Vicente Padilla on Saturday, will now get one more start in Billingsley's place. Monasterios is 3-1 with a 2.98 ERA, but got roughed up in his last start and didn't make it out of the third inning. The Dodgers called up reliever Travis Schlichting to replace Billingsley on the roster.

Jason Bartlett activated from the 15-day DL

The Rays shortstop missed just two weeks due to a strained right hamstring and is hoping to improve on his lackluster numbers. Bartlett, who hit .320 last year, was batting just .231 with only three stolen bases in 48 games after swiping 30 bags last season. Reid Brignac handled the shortstop duties while Bartlett was out, with Sean Rodriguez manning second base. Those two players should return to a platoon situation at second base now that Bartlett is back. Through Tuesday, Brignac is hitting .302 and Rodriguez is hitting .285 (with a .400 average for the month of June). The Rays demoted outfielder Justin Ruggiano to clear the roster spot for Bartlett. Ruggiano didn't get into a game during his four days with the club.

Edgar Renteria activated from the 15-day DL

Renteria has posted some pretty good numbers when he's been healthy this season. Unfortunately, that hasn't been often, due to two stints on the disabled list. Renteria first landed on the DL on May 7 due to a strained groin, and he returned to play on May 22. He then quickly found himself on the shelf again on May 26 after straining his hamstring while running out a sacrifice bunt. However, he's currently sporting a nifty .326 average after hitting just .250 last year. It's unlikely that he'll maintain his plus-.300 average over the remainder of the season, as he's batted over .300 just once since 2003. He may also have difficulties getting enough playing time to have any fantasy value, with Juan Uribe and Freddy Sanchez also in the Giants' middle infield mix. Both Uribe and Sanchez have handled the bat well, so Renteria could end up being the odd man out.

Luke Hochevar to the 15-day DL

Hochevar began the year as the number two man in Kansas City's rotation behind Zach Greinke and pitched seven and two-thirds of an inning of scoreless ball against the Tigers in his first start. Several bad starts followed, causing his ERA to balloon to 6.11 by the end of April. By the time the Royals placed him on the DL on Wednesday with a strained right elbow, he was 5-4 with a 4.96 ERA, which is pretty much as good as could reasonably be expected based on his previous numbers. Hochevar came into the season with a career ERA of 5.88 and a 13-26 record, not quite what you'd expect from a player who was picked first overall in the 2006 draft. The Royals called up Anthony Lerew from Triple-A Omaha to fill in until Hochevar is ready to return. Lerew is 0-3 with a 6.69 ERA and 1.86 WHIP during his Major League career (spanning parts of four seasons), so he is unlikely to have any fantasy value. Hochevar is expected to miss only two starts.

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