Here's a look at some of the comings and goings in Major League Baseball over the past week.
FRIDAY, JUNE 18
Troy Tulowitzki to the 15-day DL
Tulowitzki has been one of the most solid shortstops in baseball, both offensively and defensively for the past few seasons. He was off to another great start this year before getting hit by a pitch on Thursday, resulting in a broken left wrist. Tulowitzki was hitting .306 with 47 runs scored, nine home runs, 34 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 62 games with the Rockies. He is now expected to be out six to eight weeks, forcing fantasy teams to look for options to replace his bat at a weak offensive position. Clint Barmes moves over from second base to fill the void at shortstop, while Jonathan Herrera inherits the starting job at second. Herrera is 2 for 20 through Thursday, and had a career average of .230 in 28 Major League games (all in 2008) coming into this season. His Minor League track record is unimpressive, so it's unlikely that he'll have much fantasy value.
Orlando Hudson activated from the 15-day DL
The Twins' second baseman returned to the lineup on Friday after missing a couple of weeks due to a left wrist injury. Hudson injured the wrist when he collided with outfielder Denard Span while chasing down a fly ball during a game on May 30. Hudson returns to a healthy .305 batting average, but just three home runs and 16 RBIs in 49 games. He has reaped the benefits of hitting ahead of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in the Twins line-up, as he's scored 39 times. Matt Tolbert and Nick Punto received most of the playing time at second base in Hudson's absence. Tolbert returns to a reserve role, while Punto fills in at shortstop for the injured J.J. Hardy. In a corresponding roster move, the Twins placed reliever Jose Mijares on the family medical emergency list.
SATURDAY, JUNE 19
Vicente Padilla activated from the 15-day DL
Padilla had difficulties maintaining a respectable ERA while pitching in the hitter-friendly Rangers ballpark from 2006 to mid-2009. However, he started to turn things around after a mid-season trade to Los Angeles last year, as he went 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA in seven starts for the Dodgers. Unfortunately, he was unable to continue that success to start the 2010 season. In his first start of the year, he gave up seven earned runs against the Pirates and failed to make it out of the fifth inning. He followed up that performance by giving up four runs against the Marlins in his next start, once again failing to finish the fifth inning. He started to turn things around a little, giving up just five earned runs in 13 innings over his next two starts, but was then placed on the DL with nerve irritation in his right forearm on April 25. After missing almost two months of the season, and being accused of slapping a woman in the face in a hotel room in late May, Padilla is ready to pitch again. He should have some value as long as he can prove that he's fully recovered from his injury.
SUNDAY, JUNE 20
Rick Porcello demoted
Porcello was very impressive in his debut season last year, going 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA for the Detroit Tigers. Not overpowering, Porcello produced those results despite a strikeout rate of just 4.69 per nine innings, thanks to a good 2-seamer. Coming into the 2010 season at just 21 years of age, big things were expected from the young right-hander this year. Unfortunately, things haven't panned out so far, as Porcello has struggled to a 4-7 record, with a 6.14 ERA and a WHIP of 1.69. Since he's still young, the Tigers are going to give him some more time to develop at Triple-A before bringing him back up to the Majors. At the moment, the Tigers have not named a replacement for the rotation, but they will not need a fifth starter until June 29. The Tigers called up reliever Jay Sborz on Tuesday to fill the roster spot and give them an extra bullpen arm.
TUESDAY, JUNE 22
Huston Street activated from the 15-day DL
The Rockies finally activated their closer after he missed the first two-and-a-half months of the season due to injuries. Street was first sidelined at the start of spring training with inflammation in his right shoulder, and then suffered a strained left groin while rehabbing in the minors. He closed out 35 games in 37 chances for Colorado last year, while posting an ERA of 3.06 and a WHIP of just 0.91. He'll be eased back into the closer's role, but if all goes well, it shouldn't be long before he takes over the role outright. Until then, fantasy owners should take a cautious approach and monitor his progress. Manny Corpas fared adequately while filling in as the Rockies closer, saving nine games in eleven chances, with an ERA of 4.19. Juan Rincon was designated for assignment to make room on the team for Street. Rincon appeared in just two games for the Rockies this year.
Jimmy Rollins activated from the 15-day DL
Rollins has been limited to just 13 games with Philadelphia this year due to a couple of stints on the disabled list. He missed about a month due to a calf injury from mid-April to mid-May and then returned, only to re-injure himself five games later. The Phillies are taking a more cautious approach with him this time around, although he did return to his familiar leadoff role on Tuesday. Expect him to sit out the occasional game here or there if he experiences any issues. Philadelphia is keeping two reserve infielders – Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez -- on their roster just in case. Veteran utility man Greg Dobbs was designated for assignment to make room for Rollins. Dobbs had been one of the Phillies most reliable pinch-hitters in recent years, but was hitting just .152 in 66 at-bats this year.
Carlos Ruiz to the 15-day DL
Ruiz has been unremarkable with the bat in his Major League career, but has had a small amount of fantasy value due to the fact that he's a catcher. The .250 career hitter was actually hitting a decent .275 when he was hit in the head by Jason Kubel's broken bat on June 18. Ruiz suffered a concussion as a result, and now replaces teammate Rollins on the disabled list. Brian Schneider should get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate while Ruiz is out, with recently promoted Dane Sardinha backing him up. Schneider, who has battled with injuries and declining effectiveness in recent years, is not likely to have much fantasy value. He's batting .250 with no home runs and two RBIs through Monday. The Phillies promoted reliever Mike Zagurski to fill Ruiz's roster spot. Zagurski was 1-0 with a 5.91 ERA in 25 games for Philadelphia last year.
Nelson Cruz activated from the 15-day DL
Cruz has been one of the more productive players in baseball this season when he's played. Unfortunately, a couple of hamstring injuries (one to each leg) caused him to miss 37 games during his two stints on the DL. His most recent injury kept him out since May 29, but the Rangers are hoping that his injuries are behind him. Cruz is hitting .327 with ten home runs and 34 RBIs at the time of his return, and should produce solid numbers the rest of the way if he stays healthy. David Murphy did not impress while filling in for Cruz, as he's currently batting .260 with just two home runs and 21 RBIs in 62 games. He returns to a reserve role.
Coco Crisp activated from the 15-day DL
Crisp had been limited to just two games with Oakland this year due to a couple of injuries before being activated on Tuesday. He began the season on the disabled list with a fractured pinkie finger, and then strained a muscle in his chest after appearing in just two games with the club. The injury-riddled Crisp also missed most of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery in June, so it remains to be seen whether or not he's capable of staying healthy for a significant amount of time. Even when healthy, he's not the most productive player, so it would be best to look elsewhere for help for your fantasy team. Crisp's injuries allowed Rajai Davis to get some extra playing time, and he managed to steal 26 bases in 66 games while posting a decent .269 average. In fantasy terms, Davis is likely the better player (at least in leagues that track stolen bases), but the A's are going to give Crisp the opportunity to earn some of the $5.25 million that he's being paid this season.