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Transaction Analysis: Ramirez Returns to Chavez Ravine

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour

Arbour writes the weekly Transactions article for RotoWire. He also enjoys creating his own projections and statistical analysis each winter for the upcoming season. In his spare time, Arbour roots for the Blue Jays from north of the border.

There was much personnel activity this week, with several players either landing on the DL or coming off the shelf. Here's a look at some of the most noteworthy moves:

SUNDAY

Athletics

Yoenis Cespedes, OF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Casper Wells, OF - designated for assignment

Impact: The 27-year-old Cuban defector ended up missing just two weeks with a strained muscle in his left hand. Cespedes had an impressive rookie season last year, hitting .292 with 23 home runs and 82 RBI, while adding 16 stolen bases. He hit a two-run homer in his first game back and should be a nice source of power for fantasy owners. Wells went 0-for-5 during his brief stint with the A's. He has since been traded to the White Sox in exchange for cash and is now with his fourth team in about a month. The subsequent injury to Coco Crisp on Wednesday (see below) means that Chris Young, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith should all continue getting regular playing time.

Diamondbacks

Jason Kubel, OF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Didi Gregorius, SS - placed on the 7-day DL (concussion)

Impact: Kubel missed a couple of weeks with a strained left quad muscle, but returned to action Sunday against the Rockies. The long-time Twins outfielder made a nice impression in his first year with the D-Backs last year, hitting .253 with 30 home runs and 90 RBI. He should provide his fantasy teams with some decent power numbers, though he's unlikely to post a high batting average. With the crowded outfield situation in Arizona, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross and Gerardo Parra could all see a slight reduction in playing time. Gregorius got off to a hot start with the bat, hitting .407 (11-for-27) with a couple of homers in just seven games. He'll be out until he can recover from the concussion that he sustained when he was hit in the head with a pitch Friday. Cliff Pennington should serve as the team's shortstop in the meantime, though his fantasy value remains minimal.

Phillies

Carlos Ruiz, C -
reinstated from 25-game suspension
Humberto Quintero, C - designated for assignment

Impact: Ruiz missed most of the first month of the season serving a suspension for testing positive for the amphetamine drug Adderall, which was a violation of MLB's drug policy. He posted the best numbers of his career last season in Philly, setting career highs in batting average (.325), home runs (16), runs (56) and RBI (68). He should be re-inserted into fantasy lineups immediately. Erik Kratz struggled offensively while filling in for Ruiz and will return to a backup role. Quintero served as the No. 2 catcher during Ruiz's suspension and hit .250 (5-for-20).

White Sox

Gavin Floyd, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right elbow)
Deunte Heath, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Charlotte

Impact: Floyd was removed from his start Saturday with a strained flexor muscle in his right elbow. The righty has been consistently mediocre throughout his career, owning a 4.48 career ERA at the time of the injury. He'll be replaced in the rotation by Hector Santiago, who made four starts with Chicago last year but spent the majority of the year in the bullpen. Santiago could have some value in deeper leagues due to a strikeout rate of more than 9.0 K/9 over his major league career. Heath will take over Santiago's spot in the bullpen and should not have much fantasy relevance outside of leagues that count holds.

MONDAY

Dodgers

Hanley Ramirez, SS -
activated from the 15-day DL
Clayton Kershaw, LHP - placed on the bereavement list

Impact: The Dodgers shortstop returned to action Monday after missing the first month of the season with a torn ligament in his right thumb. As recently as a few years ago, Ramirez was a five-category threat who was generally drafted in the first round of most fantasy leagues. He has failed to hit above .260 in each of the last two seasons, however, and has lost his elite status. Still, he did manage another 20-20 season last year between the Marlins and Dodgers, so he can still help out a fantasy team. Justin Sellers served as L.A.'s regular shortstop while Ramirez was shelved and will now serve as infield depth. Kershaw was given some time off following the death of his father and is expected to start Friday.

Marlins

Giancarlo Stanton, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL (right hamstring)
Marcell Ozuna, OF - recalled from Double-A Jacksonville

Impact: Miami is likely going to be without its young slugger for at least a month as he recovers from a strained right hamstring. Stanton, who is just 23, already had 93 career major league home runs coming into this season and had emerged as one of baseball's top power hitters. Ozuna becomes the Marlins' regular right fielder, despite having played in a total of just 10 games above High-A ball and none above Double-A. He has decent power, but with his lack of experience he'll probably go through some growing pains. Still, the fact that he's pretty much assured of regular playing time as long as he's with the club could make him worth a look in NL-only leagues.

TUESDAY

Angels

Erick Aybar, SS -
activated from the 15-day DL
Peter Bourjos, OF - placed on the 15-day DL (left hamstring)

Impact: Aybar missed three weeks after he suffered a heel injury about a week into the season. The shortstop has been a nice source of steals for his fantasy owners in recent years and has hit above .275 in four of the last five seasons. He was hitting .321 at the time of the injury and swiped a bag in his first game back, so there doesn't appear to be any reason to think that he can't have that same type of value this year. Brendan Harris fared adequately as Aybar's replacement at shortstop but will return to a backup role. Bourjos sprained his left hamstring during Monday's game against Oakland after hitting .313 through 22 games. His injury shouldn't keep him out much longer than a couple of weeks. J.B. Shuck should now see an increase in playing time in the outfield, and Scott Cousins has been called up to help fill the void as well. Neither player is likely to hit well enough to have any kind of fantasy relevance.

Yankees

Kevin Youkilis, 3B -
placed on the 15-day DL (back)
Corban Joseph, IF - recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Impact: Youk will be shelved for at least a couple of weeks due to a lumbar spine sprain. He suffered the injury April 20 and missed several games before starting at first base in last Saturday's game against the Blue Jays. The Yankees picked up Youkilis in the offseason to man the hot corner while Alex Rodriguez works his way back from left hip surgery. They have since picked up Chris Nelson from the Rockies on Thursday, and he should get most of the starts at third base for now. Colorado had designated Nelson for assignment after he hit just .242 with no home runs and four RBI in 21 games. He seems unlikely to be of much value in mixed leagues, but he could still have some AL-only appeal. Joseph was with the team for two days before being sent back down Thursday.

WEDNESDAY

Athletics

Coco Crisp, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL (left hamstring)
Brett Anderson, LHP - placed on the 15-day DL (right ankle)
Luke Montz, C - contract purchased from Triple-A Sacramento
Dan Straily, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Sacramento

Impact: The A's lost their center fielder and a starting pitcher Wednesday, as Crisp and Anderson, respectively, landed on the DL. Crisp strained his left hamstring while running out a grounder during Monday's 19-inning affair against the Angels. He had been putting up some excellent numbers before the injury, scoring a whopping 24 runs in 24 games, while homering five times, driving in 12 and swiping eight bases. Anderson is no stranger to injury, having been limited to a total of 38 starts the last three seasons combined. He sprained his ankle during his start April 19, but still made two more appearances before being shut down. Neither player is expected to miss much more than the minimum 15 days. The A's had a crowded outfield before Crisp's injury, so they already had the necessary personnel on hand to fill the void. Montz will serve as bench depth, while Straily takes Anderson's rotation spot. The 24-year-old Straily started Monday's game against the Angels before being sent back down to Triple-A on Tuesday. He has a career 3-1 record, a 4.44 ERA and a strikeout rate of 8.70 K/9 over nine career starts including Monday. He could have some value in deep mixed leagues and AL-only leagues.

THURSDAY

Blue Jays

Josh Johnson, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right triceps)
Brad Lincoln, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Buffalo

Impact: Johnson came to the Jays in the big blockbuster deal with Miami this offseason after going 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA in 31 starts with the Fish. He has been downright awful through his first four starts this year, posting a 6.86 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP. He'll now miss some time with inflammation in his right triceps. Ricky Romero will be recalled to start in his place Friday. Romero began last year the Jays' ace, but ended up with some rather ugly numbers (9-14, 5.77 ERA, 1.67 WHIP). A lousy spring training prevented him from making Toronto's Opening Day roster, and at this point he'd have to be considered a risky fantasy option. Lincoln will pitch in low-leverage relief situations.

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