Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most important fantasy impact.
Shin-Soo Choo, RF - placed on the 15-day DL (oblique)
Impact: After hitting exactly .300 and going 20-20 (20 homers, 20 steals) in consecutive seasons in 2009 and 2010, Choo's 2011 has been a big disappointment. His average has dropped 40 points, and he has hit just eight home runs with 12 steals. He missed a month and a half earlier this year with a fractured left thumb and will now miss at least two weeks with a strained left oblique. In the meantime, Kosuke Fukudome will play right field for the Indians, with Ezequiel Carrera manning center and Jerad Head and Shelley Duncan sharing time in left.
Nelson Cruz, RF - placed on the 15-day DL (hamstring)
Leonys Martin, OF - recaleed from Triple-A Round Rock
Impact: Cruz has put up some pretty impressive numbers the last few seasons, and if he could manage to stay off the DL, those numbers would be even better. The injury-prone right fielder has yet to play in 130 games in a season due to a variety of injuries that he's experienced over his career. Nevertheless, he's still managed to hit at least 22 home runs and drive in at least 76 runs in each of the last three seasons (2011 included) while slugging more than .500 every year and stealing a fair number of bases. His most recent injury is a strained left hamstring, which is expected to keep him out for three weeks. Expect David Murphy and Endy Chavez to pick up some extra playing time, with Leonys Martin also in the mix. The 23-year-old Martin is a speedy Cuban who can steal some bases but isn't likely to help much in any of the other fantasy categories at this point.
Freddy Garcia, RHP - activated from the 15-day DL
Hector Noesi, RHP - optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Impact: Garcia has been one of the Yankees' best starting pitchers this year when he's been healthy, going 10-7 with a 3.16 ERA in 21 appearances (20 starts). He appeared to be all washed up after injuries limited him to a combined 23 starts from 2007 to 2009, but he had a rebound year last year with the White Sox that saw him start 28 games. His numbers weren't overly impressive in 2010, but his improvement in 2011 has to be seen as another step in the right direction. Hector Noesi has pitched fairly well in 24 appearances in a long relief role and has likely earned himself a September call-up.
Andres Torres, OF - activated from the 15-day DL
Sergio Romo, RHP - activated from the 15-day DL
Eric Surkamp, LHP - optioned to Single-A San Jose
Dan Runzler, LHP - optioned to Triple-A Fresno
Impact: Torres was a key part of the Giants' World Series run last year, as he seemingly came out of nowhere to emerge as the team's full-time leadoff hitter. This year, his offense has taken a hit, as his average has plummeted 40 points and his power has all but disappeared. He still steals bases, but his fantasy value isn't where it was at this point a year ago. Despite his woes, he returns to his leadoff role after missing a couple of weeks with a bruised right leg. Romo has been excellent in his setup role and missed a few weeks with inflammation in his right elbow. Surkamp made one start before being sent back down, though he's expected to return Sept. 6 to face the Padres. Runzler pitched poorly in 20 relief appearances with the Giants.
Miguel Tejada, 3B - designated for assignment
Aaron Rowand, OF - designated for assignment
Pat Burrell, LF - activated from the 15-day DL
Brett Pill, 1B - contract purchased from Triple-A Fresno
Impact: The Giants had a ton of money invested in Tejada and Rowand, but they just simply weren't performing. In 653 at-bats this year, the pair combined for a .236 average, 62 runs, eight home runs, 47 RBI and six stolen bases. None of those numbers would have been much help to a fantasy team, even if they came from one player instead of two. Tejada lost his starting shortstop job when the Giants picked up Orlando Cabrera, while the acquisition of Carlos Beltran (plus the recent activations of Andres Torres and Pat Burrell and the emergence of Brandon Belt) left Rowand without a place to play. Burrell has been out since July with a foot injury and will likely be used in a backup role. Pill hit 24 home runs and drove in 104 RBI for Triple-A Fresno this year, but at nearly 27, he's probably too old to be considered a prospect. He will likely not receive enough playing time to be worth keeping on your fantasy radar at this point.
Jose Reyes, SS - activated from the 15-day DL
Mike Baxter, OF - optioned to Triple-A Buffalo
Impact: Reyes has been having a great season despite landing on the 15-day DL on two occasions. Before his most recent DL stint, he had already nearly matched his total number of runs scored from last season in 35 fewer games. He has also already surpassed last year's stolen base total by stealing 34 bases and is hitting a career-high .336. As long as he can stay healthy, he should continue to be one of the game's top run scorers and base stealers. Ruben Tejada will return to a backup role and will probably get the occasional start at second base. Baxter appeared in just 10 games with the Mets and went 4-for-16.
Cole Hamels, LHP - activated from the 15-day DL
Pete Orr, IF - optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley
Impact: Philadelphia's rotation has so many quality arms that it would be easy to overlook Hamels' masterful performance so far in 2011. Hamels has been a top-notch starter for several years now, but this year is probably his best season so far. His 2.62 ERA and 0.99 WHIP are both career lows, and he is just two wins shy of matching his career high of 15 that he set back in 2007. He returns to action after missing a couple weeks with left shoulder inflammation. Kyle Kendrick now moves back to the bullpen, where he has had a little more success this season. Orr was unproductive at the plate this year, batting .227 without a home run in 32 games.