Teams were busy expanding their rosters this week, so here's a look at some of the most noteworthy moves, along with their fantasy impications:
Wei-Yin Chen, LHP - recalled from Gulf Coast League Orioles
Impact: Chen had been sent down to Baltimore's GCL affiliate after he was roughed up for eight earned runs in 3.2 innings against the Red Sox on Aug. 27. His return Sunday wasn't much better, as he gave up five free passes and three earned runs over four innings against the Yankees. His recent struggles have caused his ERA to balloon from 2.67 to 3.87 since July 19, making him a less-than-desirable fantasy option.
Luke Scott, DH - activated from the 15-day DL
Impact: Scott had been limited to just 78 games this year as a result of two stints on the disabled list. He appears to be recovered from the back spasms that had kept him out since Aug. 14 and should see plenty of at-bats at designated hitter against right-handed pitching the remainder of the season. He returns to a .249 average, nine home runs and 39 RBI and could provide some value to fantasy teams in AL-only leagues and some deeper mixed leagues.
Billy Hamilton, OF - contract purchased from Triple-A Louisville
Impact: The term "speedster" somehow seems insufficient when referring to a player with Hamilton's ability to steal bases. Hamilton made a name for himself by swiping a remarkable 258 bags over the last two seasons in the minors (103 at Single-A in 2011 and 155 between High-A and Double-A in 2012). While he hasn't produced much offensively at Triple-A this year (.256 average, six home runs, 41 RBI), he has still managed to steal a whopping 75 bases in 123 games. He doesn't figure to get regular playing time in the majors for the time being, but he could still be a good source of steals over the final month of the season regardless.
Michael Wacha, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Memphis
Impact: Wacha will get a chance to hold down a rotation spot with Jake Westbrook on the shelf with a strained lower back. The 22-year-old righty was 2-0 with a 3.78 ERA over 10 appearances in his previous stints with the Cards and pitched six shutout innings against the Reds during his start Tuesday. He was also sharp in 15 starts at Triple-A this year (5-3, 2.65 ERA), and has struck out more than a batter per inning so far at the major league level. He could be worth a shot in many fantasy league formats.
Ryan Raburn, OF - activated from the 15-day DL
Impact: Raburn has struggled to accumulate regular playing time this season, and yet he's still managed to put up some impressive numbers at the plate. In just 71 games, he has hit .272 with 15 home runs and 41 RBI and has a nice .940 OPS. This is the same player who posted an embarrassing .480 OPS in 66 games a year ago and who couldn't hold on to a major-league job. He's not fully recovered from his strained left Achilles' heel injury, but he could still have some value in deeper fantasy leagues if he's able to get into the starting lineup a few games a week.
Jeff Locke, LHP - recalled from Double-A Altoona
Jason Grilli, RHP - activated from the 15-day DL
Impact: Locke will get another shot at holding down a rotation spot after a brief stint in the minors. The 25-year-old lefty put together a fine season before he hit a rough patch over his last month, which caused his ERA to jump from 2.15 on July 26 to 3.22 on Aug. 27. He is no longer a reliable fantasy option, though there's still a chance he can turn things around. Grilli did a remarkable job as Pittsburgh's closer before he had to be shut down for about six weeks with a strained flexor tendon in his right arm. At the time of the injury, he was leading the National League in saves (30) and owned a 2.34 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He will be eased back into the ninth-inning role, with Mark Melancon continuing to close games in the meantime.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF - activated from the 15-day DL
Impact: Gonzalez needed about a month to return to the active roster after he sprained his right middle finger in early August. The All-Star outfielder was producing his usual impressive numbers this year, as he was hitting .302 with 72 runs, 26 home runs, 70 RBI and 21 steals in 104 games before the injury. He has continued to experience soreness and swelling in the finger, so he may only receive limited playing time (assuming he's not shut down altogether). However, he is one of baseball's top five-category fantasy assets when he's in the lineup, so his fantasy owners (especially those in leagues that allow daily transactions) will want to give him a chance as long as he doesn't experience any further setbacks.
Tony Cingrani, LHP - activated from the 15-day DL
Impact: The 24-year-old left-hander missed just a couple weeks with a strained lower back. Cingrani has looked sharp this year, going 6-3 with a 2.76 ERA and a strikeout rate of 10.32 K/9 over 21 appearances. He should be owned in most league formats and should only help the Reds as they continue their pursuit of a spot in the postseason.