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Transaction Analysis: Longoria Returns for Rays

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most important fantasy impact.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Rays

Evan Longoria, 3B
activated from the 15-day DL
Felipe Lopez, 3B designated for assignment

Impact: Longoria's return gives the Rays offense a huge boost, as his replacement Lopez did very little with the bat. Longoria has become the face of the Rays franchise and drove in more than 100 runs in each of the last two seasons. He's already one of the top fantasy third basemen, and at just 25, he's only going to get better.

Tigers

Will Rhymes, 2B
optioned to Triple-A Toledo
Scott Sizemore, 2B recalled from Triple-A Toledo

Impact: Rhymes had been getting the bulk of the playing time at second base for the Tigers over the first month of the season. However, he fared very poorly with the bat, posting an OPS of just .556. Sizemore started last season as the regular second baseman, but lost the job due to his offensive woes, and did not make the club this year out of spring training. Ryan Raburn figures to get most of the time at second base, and he's proven himself to be a solid bat and a versatile player. Sizemore could work his way into additional playing time if he proves that he's finally figured out how to hit Major League pitching.

Victor Martinez, C
activated from the 15-day DL
Omir Santos, C optioned to Triple-A Toledo

Impact: The plan for the Tigers coming into this season was to use Martinez as a designated hitter and occasional catcher, in order to keep him healthy and productive. He didn't even make it through the first three weeks of the season before landing on the DL with a groin injury, proving that the best laid plans don't always work out. Nevertheless, he's still one of the top fantasy catchers when he's healthy, so don't waste any time getting him into your lineup. Santos appeared in just two games in his brief stint with the club.

Twins

Jim Thome, DH
placed on the 15-day DL (oblique)
Trevor Plouffe, IF recalled from Triple-A Rochester

Impact: Thome put together some great numbers last season in limited playing time, and was looking to do the same this year as a part-time designated hitter before he strained his left oblique. Jason Kubel should get most of the at-bats at DH while Thome is out, with outfielders Rene Tosoni and newly-recalled Ben Revere getting some more time in the outfield. Neither player is worth rostering in most fantasy leagues. With Alexi Casilla and Matt Tolbert struggling offensively, Plouffe could challenge for playing time in the middle infield. However, there's nothing in Plouffe's minor league track record to suggest that he'd do much better with the bat.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Astros

Brandon Lyon, RHP
placed on the 15-day DL (biceps and rotator cuff)
Jose Valdez, RHP recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City

Impact: Lyon wasn't getting the job done as the Astros' closer, blowing four of eight save opportunities. An MRI revealed tendinitis in his biceps and a partial tear in his rotator cuff, but neither injury is serious enough to require surgery. Right-hander Mark Melancon has been solid in a middle relief role and figures to get the saves while Lyon is out. Fantasy teams in need of saves should give Melancon a look, if someone else in your league hasn't already snapped him up. Valdez was shaky in an earlier stint with the club, and gets another chance to work through his growing pains.

Brewers

Zach Greinke, RHP
activated from the 15-day DL
Brandon Boggs, OF sent to Triple-A Nashville

Impact: The Brewers' biggest offseason acquisition finally returned to action after missing a month due to a rib injury. He did not look sharp in his first start upon his return, but he should be fine once he gets some more innings under his belt. Boggs struggled offensively, getting just one hit (albeit a home run) in 10 at-bats with the Brewers.

Cardinals

David Freese, 3B
placed on the 15-day DL (hand)
Allen Craig, OF/3B activated from the 15-day DL

Impact: Freese was swinging a hot bat before being hit in the left hand by a pitch from Scott Linebrink on May 1. The pitch broke his hand, forcing the Cards to have to make do without their third baseman for nine to twelve weeks. Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso should share the third base duties in the mean time, but it is unlikely that either will be of much help to a fantasy team.

Dodgers

Hong-Chih Kuo, LHP
activated from the 15-day DL
Kenley Jansen, RHP optioned to Double-A Chattanooga

Impact: Kuo pitched incredibly well last season, resulting in an All-Star Game selection and a late-season move to the closer's role. He strained his lower back early this year and missed some time, and then got roughed up in his first game back. To make room for the left-hander, the Dodgers optioned promising young righty Jansen to Double-A. Jansen has an electric fastball, but has struggled with control problems throughout his professional career. He'll need to work on his control and on improving his secondary offerings during his minor league stint.

Giants

Pablo Sandoval, 3B
placed on the 15-day DL (hand)
Ryan Rohlinger, 3B recalled from Triple-A Fresno

Impact: Sandoval had a disappointing 2010 season, but bounced back nicely to begin this season. He was one of the Giants' top offensive performers before he landed on the shelf with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He is expected to be out for four to six weeks, and Miguel Tejada will move from shortstop to third base while Sandoval is out. Mike Fontenot should man the shortstop position on a regular basis, but will likely not produce enough to help out fantasy owners. Rohlinger provides the Giants with little more than some bench depth.

Padres

Orlando Hudson, 2B
placed on the 15-day DL (hamstring)
Logan Forsythe, IF contract selected from Triple-A Tucson

Impact: O-Dawg was putting up some mediocre numbers before landing on the DL with a hamstring injury. The Padres' second baseman collected just five extra-base hits in 29 games while hitting just .245. Even when he's on his game, he can help a fantasy team in batting average, but usually little else. Eric Patterson, Alberto Gonzalez and Forsythe should all see time at second base while Hudson is out, which likely won't be much longer than the minimum 15 days. None of the three should be considered a fantasy asset at this point.

Rockies

Ty Wigginton, IF
placed on the 15-day DL (oblique)
Ian Stewart, 3B recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs

Impact: Wigginton usually puts up decent numbers in his role as a utility player, but he spent most of the first month of this season batting around or below the Mendoza line. He put together a solid 3-for-4 performance on April 26 against the Cubs, which was his first multi-hit game of the season. It was also the last action he's seen since straining his left oblique. His injury gives Stewart another chance to get his bat going, as he hit just .077 before his demotion in mid-April. He's been solid for the last few years, so there's no reason to believe that he can't rebound.