Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most important fantasy impact.
Mark Ellis, 2B – activated from the 15-day DL
Daric Barton, 1B – optioned to Triple-A Sacramento
Impact: Ellis has never really been a highly sought-after commodity in fantasy leagues, as he rarely produces enough offensively to make him worth a serious look. The emergence of Jemile Weeks will cut into whatever fantasy value Ellis may have had, as Weeks is expected to serve as the team's primary second baseman going forward. Barton has been terrible at the plate this year, so the A's will give Conor Jackson a full-time look at first base. Jackson hasn't hit for much power and should be considered a weak fantasy option due to the overall strength of the first base and outfield positions.
Josh Willingham, LF – placed on the 15-day DL (Achilles)
Chris Carter, OF-1B – called up from Triple-A Sacramento
Impact: The A's will be without their best power hitter for at least a couple of weeks as Willingham sits with a strained Achilles tendon. Willingham is leading the team in both home runs and RBI, but is no stranger to injury as he's missed significant time over the last few years. Carter figures to share the left field duties with Ryan Sweeney and Adam Rosales. None of those players should be worth a look unless they win the job outright and Willingham is out for an extended period of time.
Clay Buchholz, RHP – placed on the 15-day DL (lower back)
Andrew Miller, LHP – contract purchased from Triple-A Pawtucket
Impact: It's been a rough year for Red Sox starters, as Buchholz becomes the third member of Boston's opening day five-man rotation to land on the DL. Daisuke Matsuzaka is out for the rest of the season (and probably most of 2012) due to Tommy John surgery, and John Lackey recently returned to action after a three-week stint on the DL due to an elbow injury. Buchholz has been one of Boston's best starters and a steady fantasy asset this year, but will now miss some time due to a strained lower back. Miller replaces Buchholz in the rotation and has put up some disappointing numbers through parts of five major league seasons. He is best avoided in most fantasy leagues.
Brandon Inge, 3B – activated from the 15-day DL
Danny Worth, IF – optioned to Triple-A Toledo
Impact: Few players have the ability to frustrate fantasy owners the way that Inge does. He hits for a consistently low average every year, but has some value when he's able to hit 27 homers as he's done twice over the last five seasons. Unfortunately, he hit fewer than 15 bombs in the other three seasons over that time frame, so those owners banking on a power surge were instead left with a largely unproductive player. This season has seen him post some of the worst numbers of his career, so time will tell whether he's able to turn it around. Worth put together a plus-.300 average in 17 games and should see action with the team again at some point this season. Utility man Don Kelly may now see a reduction in playing time with Inge back in the lineup.
Jake Peavy – activated from the 15-day DL
Lucas Harrell – optioned to Triple-A Charlotte
Impact: Peavy's return means the White Sox will go back to their six-man rotation, which will minimally affect the fantasy value of every member of their rotation. Peavy has had a hard time staying off of the DL in recent seasons, so Chicago might not end up sticking with six men for long. Peavy generally puts up good numbers when he's healthy, but those occasions are becoming rarer with each passing year. Harrell was roughed up in three relief appearances with Chicago this year.
Nate McLouth, OF – activated from the 15-day DL
Joe Mather, UT – designated for assignment
Impact: McLouth has struggled with the bat this year and hasn't been able to compensate on the basepaths, stealing just two bases. He also struggled mightily last season, so his days of playing regularly at the major league level might be numbered. For the time being, he'll move from center field to left due to Martin Prado's staph infection, with Jordan Schafer continuing to play center. Mather was rather unproductive over 36 games with the Braves.
Brandon Beachy, RHP – activated from the 15-day DL
Mike Minor, LHP – optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett
Impact: Beachy was dominant before missing a month due to a strained oblique, despite a 1-1 record in eight starts. He's a strikeout machine and a potential ace in the making. Minor's overall numbers were just so-so, but his demotion came after a great start on Tuesday in which he pitched seven innings of one-run ball against the Jays. He could be called upon the next time Atlanta needs another starter.
Albert Pujols, 1B – placed on the 15-day DL (wrist)
Mark Hamilton, 1B-OF – recalled from Triple-A Memphis
Impact: This season, Pujols' numbers have been well off of his career norms, and yet he's still hit better than the majority of major league hitters. The first baseman has been a fantasy superstar every year since he broke into the majors in 2001. He will be out for six weeks due to a broken wrist that he suffered during Sunday's game against the Royals. The injury occurred when Wilson Betemit collided with him at first base while Pujols was taking an offline throw. Lance Berkman should take over at first base, with Jon Jay and Andrew Brown getting some extra time in the outfield. Hamilton should also see some time at first base and in the outfield.
Tom Gorzelanny, LHP – activated from the 15-day DL
Rick Ankiel, OF – placed on the 15-day DL (ribs)
Impact: Gorzelanny has been part of a Nats rotation that has pitched surprisingly well this year. Although his ERA and WHIP weren't anything spectacular, he put up some good strikeout numbers before missing a month due to inflammation in his elbow. He had a rough outing against the Orioles in his first start upon his return, but based on his overall numbers this year and last, he should have some value in mixed leagues. Yunesky Maya filled Gorzelanny's rotation spot during his recovery, pitching very poorly in three of his four starts and being optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse on June 15. Ankiel hasn't been a fantasy asset since 2008 and will miss a couple of weeks due to a strained intercostal muscle on the left side of his ribcage.
Orlando Hudson, 2B – activated from the 15-day DL
Logan Forsythe, IF – optioned to Triple-A Tucson
Impact: Hudson's numbers prior to this year were unremarkable, as he has lacked the power and speed necessary to be a fantasy asset, and his average had slipped for two years in a row coming into the 2011 season. A move to San Diego is often catastrophic for hitters who already put up mediocre numbers, and Hudson is no exception. The one bright spot is that Hudson has already set a new career high in stolen bases this year, despite missing almost a month due to a strained left groin. Forsythe was downright awful at the plate, and Alberto Gonzalez should see reduced playing time with Hudson's return to action.