Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most important fantasy impact.
Mitch Talbot, RHP – placed on the 15-day DL (lower back)
Ezequiel Carrera, OF – recalled from Triple-A Columbus
Impact: Talbot has been absolutely terrible this year, posting a lousy 2-6 record with an ERA of 6.33 and a WHIP of 1.80. He's given up at least six earned runs in four of his eleven starts, and in both of his last two starts. His strained lower back will keep him out for at least a couple of weeks, and Indians' manager Manny Acta had already indicated that Talbot's days in the rotation could be numbered. Jeanmar Gomez is expected to be recalled in time to take Talbot's next start against Baltimore on Sunday. He's probably not worth taking a chance on based on his track record. Carrera will give the Tribe some outfield depth.
Zach Britton, LHP – optioned to Double-A Bowie
Mark Hendrickson, LHP – contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk
Impact: Britton has been the Orioles' best starter for most of this season, but they decided to send him down to the minors after a disastrous start last Friday. That start saw him give up eight runs (seven earned) before being pulled after recording only two outs in the first inning. He's expected to rejoin the team to start on July 30 against the Yankees and should be a key part of Baltimore's rotation in the second half. Hendrickson will pitch in long relief for the Orioles and is a non-factor in fantasy leagues.
John Jaso, C – placed on the 15-day DL (side)
Impact: Jaso will miss at least a couple of weeks due to a strained right side. He has struggled at the plate this season, hitting just .222 with three home runs in 65 games for Tampa Bay. Kelly Shoppach should be the regular behind the plate while Jaso is out, and Jose Lobaton is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Durham in time for Friday's game to serve as a backup. Shoppach has some power, but hasn't posted a batting average over .214 since 2008.
Delmon Young, LF – activated from the 15-day DL
Rene Tosoni, OF – optioned to Triple-A Rochester
Impact: Young will try to turn his season around after missing a couple of weeks with an ankle injury. He was one of the league's biggest surprises last year, but has struggled this season, hitting just two home runs thus far. Tosoni hit .205 with two home runs in 26 games for the Twins. With Denard Span expected back shortly and Ben Revere doing a nice job with the bat, the Twins likely won't have a spot in their outfield for Tosoni any time soon.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B – placed on the 15-day DL (knee)
Greg Golson, OF – recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Impact: Rodriguez is expected to miss 4-6 weeks as he recovers from surgery on his right knee. The soon-to-be 36-year old third baseman has put up some solid numbers this season, but not quite up to his usual level of performance. He was already a bit off the pace to collect 100 RBI for his 14th consecutive season, and his injury all but assures that he'll fall short of the mark this year. Eduardo Nunez will fill in at third during A-Rod's absence. He showed some pop in his bat while filling in at shortstop for Derek Jeter and could have some fantasy value. Golson will likely be used as a late-inning defensive sub in right field for Nick Swisher (the same role that Chris Dickerson occupied before his demotion).
Chipper Jones, 3B – placed on the 15-day DL (knee)
Brandon Hicks, IF – recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett
Impact: Jones is expected to miss anywhere from 2-4 weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair some torn cartilage in his right knee. The 39-year-old third baseman has looked his age over the last few seasons, as he's missed a significant amount of time due to injuries and hasn't posted a batting average over .265 since his great 2008 season. Julio Lugo manned third base for two games after Chipper was hurt, but Martin Prado is expected to be the regular at the hot corner once he returns from the DL shortly after the All-Star Break. Hicks will be used in a backup role.
Francisco Rodriguez, RHP – acquired from the New York Mets for two players to be named and cash
Impact: The Mets' closer was dealt to the Brewers on Tuesday night as Milwaukee made a deal to strengthen their struggling bullpen. Closer John Axford has been reliable, but K-Rod should give them a dependable setup man to help them bridge the gap between their starters and Axford. This move will seriously diminish Rodriguez's fantasy value, and Bobby Parnell figures to get most of the save opportunities for the Mets going forward. Parnell definitely has the arsenal to handle the ninth inning duties and could be a valuable fantasy asset over the second half of the season. The Mets recalled right-handed reliever Ryota Igarishi from Triple-A Buffalo to fill K-Rod's roster spot and the Brewers had yet to announce their corresponding roster move.
Juan Rivera, LF – acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named or cash
Marcus Thames, OF – designated for assignment
Impact: Rivera had already lost his place on the Jays' roster, being designated for assignment on July 3. He'll likely get a fair amount of playing time for the Dodgers, as left field has been a revolving door of ineffective hitters for them this season. Thames hit just .197 in 36 games and had to be cut loose to make room for Rivera. He may not be the best fantasy option out there, but Rivera could still have some value in NL-only leagues. Tony Gwynn will see a reduction in playing time as a result of this move.
Dontrelle Willis, LHP – contract selected from Triple-A Louisville
Carlos Fisher, RHP – optioned to Triple-A Louisville
Impact: Willis has been a non-factor in the major leagues for years now, as he hasn't pitched a full season since 2007. Since then, his career has been decimated by injuries, psychological problems, and wildness. In 123.2 innings from 2008 to 2010, he walked a whopping 119 batters for an almost unheard of rate of 8.66 BB/9. He seemed to have gotten his wildness under control at Triple-A Louisville this season, as he walked just 20 batters in 75.1 innings, so we'll see how that translates in Cincy. He takes over the spot in the rotation that was vacated when the Reds sent struggling righty Edinson Volquez to Triple-A. Fisher has made 10 relief appearances for Cincinnati this season.