Things are starting to wind down in the major leagues, with only a handful of key moves being made over the past week. Here are some of the top moves and their fantasy implications.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 10
Jim Edmonds activated from the 15-day DL
The 40-year-old began the season in Milwaukee, splitting playing time in right field with Corey Hart and then taking over the center field duties when Carlos Gomez landed on the DL in early May. Edmonds then landed on the DL himself shortly afterward, causing him to miss a couple of weeks. When he returned, Gomez was healthy, and Hart had emerged as one of the teamís best hitters, which limited Edmondsí playing time. His situation didnít change much after his trade to Cincinnati on August 10, as he found himself competing for at-bats with center fielder Drew Stubbs before once again landing on the DL on August 24. The Reds decided to activate him from the DL on Friday despite the fact that heís apparently not fully recovered from the strained oblique muscle, so heíll be limited to pinch-hitting duties for the time being. Heís done fairly well with the playing time that heís been given this year, hitting .272 with nine home runs and 40 runs scored in 82 games between Milwaukee and Cincinnati. However, with his at-bats being limited, it seems unlikely that he will be of any value to a fantasy team going forward.
Nick Punto activated from the 15-day DL
Three trips to the disabled list have limited Punto to just 81 games this season. A strained groin caused him to miss the second half of April, but he managed to remain healthy for about three months after his return. Then, at the end of July, he strained his left hamstring and missed another couple of weeks. This time, he lasted just one game when he reaggravated the injury during his first game back and landed back on the disabled list on August 20. Before the hamstring injury, he had been receiving ample playing time at third base, and also at shortstop (filling in while J.J. Hardy was injured). With Hardy healthy, and Danny Valencia hitting .343 through Thursday, Punto will be limited to a backup role from here on. Heís hitting .253 with only one home run upon his return, and would have been a poor fantasy option even if he was receiving regular playing time.
Mark Rogers recalled from Huntsville
Rogers is a 24-year-old righty with some serious heat, and some serious control issues. In 24 starts for Double-A Huntsville, he was 6-8 with an ERA of 3.71. However, those numbers donít tell the whole story, as he allowed just 86 hits and three home runs in over 111 innings, but walked a ridiculous 69 batters. He can be nearly unhittable when heís throwing strikes, but unfortunately thatís not often enough. For his Minor League career, heís walked 226 batters in 354.1 innings, or 5.74 walks per nine innings, so his control issues are nothing new. Heíll need to iron them out if heís going to succeed at the Major League level. The Brewers will give him a start in the upcoming series against Florida to show what heís capable of. Heís definitely got the stuff, now he needs to prove that he knows how to use it.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 12
Akinori Iwamura signed by Oakland
The 31-year-old Japanese import has seen his stock fall drastically since 2008. He was limited to just 69 games with Tampa Bay last season due to injuries and was picked up by Pittsburgh in the offseason. He began the year as the teamís regular second baseman, but lost the job by hitting just .183 with nine RBI in 54 games. He was designated for assignment in mid-June, and was sent to Pittsburghís Triple-A affiliate after he cleared waivers. On September 7, he was designated for assignment again, but was released by the Pirates this time. With third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff suffering from lower back pain, the Aís wasted no time in picking up Iwamura, who has not seen regular playing time at the position since 2007. Obviously given his poor productivity, Iwamura is unlikely to have much fantasy value.
Jerry Hairston Jr. activated from the 15-day DL
Hairston has never produced enough to be worth owning in most fantasy leagues, and this year has been no exception. Despite topping the 400 at-bat mark for the first time since 2002, the Padresí leadoff hitter hasnít done much with the bat. In 115 games before landing on the DL with a strained elbow on August 28, he hit .249 with ten home runs, 50 RBI, 52 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Nevertheless, he continues to get at-bats, so he still possesses some value in deeper fantasy leagues. He should split time at second base with David Eckstein, while also backing up Chase Headley and Miguel Tejada at third and short, respectively.
MONDAY, SEPT. 13
Willie Bloomquist traded to Cincinnati
Bloomquist has been a valuable utility man throughout his career, due to his ability to play almost any position on the diamond. After logging career highs in games played (125) and at-bats (434) last season with the Royals, heíd seen his playing time diminish considerably this season. He will add some depth to the playoff-bound Reds, though he will not be eligible to appear on their postseason roster. Heís hitting .265 with 31 runs scored and eight stolen bases in 72 games for Kansas City and is still unlikely to offer much in terms of fantasy value.
Edwin Encarnacion activated from the 15-day DL
Encarnacion has not had such a bad season by his standards, despite two trips to the DL and being designated for assignment and then assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas in June. The 27-year old has hit 13 home runs and driven in 36 runs for the Jays. He was hitting .246 in 80 games before his most recent trip to the DL due to a sprained left wrist, which is up from his .225 mark from last season. With Jose Bautista likely to continue to see some time at the hot corner, Encarnacionís at-bats may be somewhat limited. He could still put up some decent power numbers the rest of the way, but his average isnít likely to improve. Fantasy teams should proceed with caution.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 15
Kyle Drabek purchased from New Hampshire
Drabek was one of the key components of the deal that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia during the offseason. The 22-year-old righty fared well in his first season in the Blue Jays farm system, going 14-9 with a 2.94 ERA and 132 strikeouts in 162 innings this year for Double-A New Hampshire. He got the call on Wednesday, and will be a part of the Jays rotation for the remainder of the season. The struggling Mark Rzepczynski (1-4, 6.15) loses his spot in the rotation and will likely be used only in mopup duty, if at all. Drabek is a rising young star, and despite the shaky results in his debut on Wednesday against Baltimore (9 hits, 3 walks and 3 earned runs allowed in 6 innings), fantasy teams in need of pitching help down the stretch may want to give him a chance.