Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most important fantasy impact.
Vernon Wells, LF – placed on the 15-day DL (groin)
Reggie Willits, OF – recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake
Impact: The Angels signed Wells during the offseason in the hopes that he would give their sluggish offense a boost. Unfortunately, Wells couldn't get it going early this year, as he hit just .183 and drove in only 13 runs in 35 games. He strained his groin Monday night, sending him to the DL, and hopefully he'll be able to finally get on track when he returns. In the meantime, it looks like the Angels will use some combination of Bobby Abreu, Alexi Amarista and Willits to fill the void in left field, while rotating players in and out of the DH spot.
Aaron Hill, 2B – activated from the 15-day DL
Mike McCoy, IF – optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas
Impact: Hill was baseball's unluckiest hitter last season, posting the lowest batting average on balls in play (BABIP) in baseball. A big rebound was expected this year, but he couldn't get anything going in April before he strained his right hamstring and landed on the DL. John McDonald and Mike McCoy filled in at second while Hill was out, and neither did much with the bat (aside from a game-winning home run from McDonald on April 22). Hill can't possibly be as bad as he was last year and at the start of this year, so look for some improvement.
Milton Bradley, LF – designated for assignment
Ryan Langerhans, OF – designated for assignment
Carlos Peguero, OF – recalled from Triple-A Tacoma
Mike Wilson, OF – contract selected from Triple-A Tacoma
Impact: The M's cut Bradley loose after the hot-headed outfielder got off to a terrible start to the season, driving in just 13 runs in 28 games. The entire Mariners offense has scuffled through the first five weeks of the season, with the exception of first baseman Justin Smoak and the always reliable Ichiro Suzuki. However, Bradley's weak play both at the plate and in the field made him the easy choice to be sent packing, and struggling backup outfielder Langerhans joined him. Peguero and Wilson could see a platoon situation in left field, with the left-handed Peguero getting the playing time advantage. Both players have some power, and if either one claims the job outright, they could be worth owning in many fantasy leagues.
J.J. Hardy, SS – activated from the 15-day DL
Josh Rupe, RHP – designated for assignment
Impact: The Orioles got their shortstop back after he missed a month due to a strained oblique. Robert Andino filled in admirably with the bat while Hardy was out of commission but returns to the backup role to which he's better suited. Hardy has some power and plays reliable defense, but he continues to be an injury risk. The O's took a chance on Rupe, and he performed about as well as could have reasonably been expected, which was not very well.
Marco Scutaro, SS – placed on the 15-day DL (oblique)
Jose Iglesias, IF – recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket
Impact: Scutaro was one of the few Red Sox players who actually stayed healthy last season, and he began this year with a firm hold on the starting shortstop role. However, the hot bat of Jed Lowrie forced the Sox to get him into the lineup, taking time away from the incumbent shortstop. Scutaro's strained oblique will keep him out for a couple of weeks, and it remains to be seen how much playing time he'll get upon his return. Iglesias provides the Red Sox with some infield depth while Scutaro is out.
Bruce Chen, LHP – placed on the 15-day DL (lat)
Vin Mazzaro, RHP – recalled from Triple-A Omaha
Impact: Chen was doing his best to prove that last season's impressive showing was no fluke, as he went 4-1 through his first seven starts. Unfortunately, a strained lat muscle in his left side will now keep him on the shelf for a undetermined period. To fill his vacant rotation spot, the Royals called up right-hander Mazzaro, who was originally slated to be the team's fifth starter out of spring training. Mazzaro has been nothing spectacular so far in his brief major league career, but due to his young age, he could step his game up to the next level at any time.
Jake Peavy, RHP – activated from the 15-day DL
Jeff Gray, RHP – designated for assignment
Impact: Peavy was limited to a combined 33 starts the last two seasons due to injuries, after averaging 30 starts a season from 2003 to 2008. The once-dominant righty was less than stellar last season for the White Sox, as he posted the highest ERA of his entire career. Peavy's return creates an interesting problem for manager Ozzie Guillen, as Peavy's replacement Philip Humber was excellent over the first five weeks of the season, and none of the other established four starters are likely to lose their jobs. In the short term, Chicago might use a six-man rotation until things eventually sort themselves out. Gray was solid in six relief appearances but had to be cut loose to make room for Peavy.
Geovany Soto, C – placed on the 15-day DL (groin)
Welington Castillo, C – recalled from Triple-A Iowa
Impact: When he's healthy, Soto is usually one of the better fantasy options at catcher, but injuries have plagued him the last couple of seasons. The Cubs are optimistic that Soto will be out no longer than the minimum 15 days with his left groin sprain. In the meantime, the Cubs will turn to Koyie Hill and Castillo to handle the catching duties. Neither player should hit well enough to be considered a fantasy asset in most leagues.
Andres Torres – activated from the 15-day DL
Mark DeRosa – activated from the 15-day DL
Ryan Rohlinger, IF – optioned to Triple-A Fresno
Emmanuel Burriss, IF – optioned to Triple-A Fresno
Impact: Torres put together an impressive and surprising season in 2010, and was a key part of the Giants' World Series run. His return to their lineup should help provide a boost to the top of the order, as Aaron Rowand doesn't get on base often enough or possess enough speed to be useful in a leadoff role. With Miguel Tejada struggling at the plate and Pablo Sandoval on the DL, DeRosa should get his fair share of playing time in the infield.
Chris Young, RHP – placed on the 15-day DL (shoulder)
Pat Misch, LHP – contract selected from Triple-A Buffalo
Impact: Young was lights out before – surprise, surprise – he landed on the DL with a right shoulder injury that will require surgery. Young hadn't started more than 20 games in a season since 2007, and this year proves no different. Misch figures to be used out of the bullpen, with Dillon Gee most likely taking over Young's spot in the rotation. Gee has been solid through six appearances, but his minor league track record shows him to be quite hittable.
Ike Davis, 1B – placed on the 15-day DL (ankle)
Fernando Martinez, OF – recalled from Triple-A Buffalo
Impact: Davis was one of the Mets' best hitters before he suffered a sprained left ankle and bone bruise that landed him on the DL. He was leading the team in both home runs and RBI, so his production will be missed. Justin Turner should see an increase in his fantasy value as he becomes the regular second baseman with Daniel Murphy shifting over to first. Martinez will get limited playing time in a backup capacity.
Johnny Cueto, RHP – activated from the 15-day DL
Carlos Fisher, RHP – optioned to Triple-A Louisville
Impact: Cueto's season started more than a month late due to irritation in his biceps/triceps, but he looked strong in his debut against the Cubs. Cueto put together six shutout innings in a winning effort May 8, so fantasy owners probably need not worry about any lingering effects of the injury. Struggling Mike Leake was bumped to the bullpen to make room for Cueto. Fisher was unscored upon in four relief appearances and could be back with the Reds the next time they need another arm in the bullpen.