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Transaction Analysis: Morrow Returns and More

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most important fantasy impact.



Erick Aybar, SS
activated from the 15-day disabled list
Brandon Wood, SS designated for assignment

Impact: Aybar returns to his everyday shortstop role after missing some time with a rib injury. He has decent pop for a middle infielder, capable of hitting for a solid average and stealing some bases. Wood helped fill in at shortstop while Aybar was out, but the emergence of Maicer Izturis has made him expendable.


Dallas Braden, LHP
placed on the 15-day disabled list (shoulder)
David Purcey, LHP acquired from Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Danny Farquhar

Braden has been a solid starter for the A's the last few seasons but will miss at least a couple of weeks due to shoulder inflammation. Tyson Ross moves from the bullpen to take Braden's spot in the rotation and should make a couple of starts. He's been solid in his brief major league career and could be worth a look. Purcey got roughed up this year with Toronto and should have no fantasy value.

Blue Jays

Frank Francisco, RHP
activated from the 15-day disabled list
Jesse Litsch, RHP optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas

Francisco was acquired during the offseason to be the Blue Jays closer, but he'll have to work his way back into that role after missing some time due to shoulder strain. In the meantime, Jon Rauch should continue to get the saves in Toronto. Litsch did fairly well in his first three starts with the Jays, and should be back with the team again at some point.

Brandon Morrow, RHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Brett Cecil, LHP optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas

Morrow is scheduled to make his season debut Saturday after missing the first few weeks of the season due to an elbow injury. He's a dependable starter who should post some good strikeout numbers. He takes the rotation spot vacated by Jesse Litsch, and Cecil's demotion leaves the Jays looking for options to fill the remaining spot in the rotation. Cecil struggled with control in his first four starts, and Brad Mills, Zach Stewart and Scott Richmond have been mentioned as possibilities to join the team.


Grady Sizemore, CF
activated from the 15-day disabled list
Mitch Talbot, RHP placed on the 15-day disabled list (elbow)

Sizemore was a fantasy star from 2005 to 2008, but has struggled since. Nevertheless, he should still provide enough offense to be of use to a fantasy team. Talbot was one of the big surprises of last season as he emerged as a quality starter, and he continued his success through his first two starts this season. The Indians will now be without his services for at least a month as he recovers from an ailing elbow. Jeanmar Gomez was called up to fill the vacant rotation spot but is unlikely to be worth a look in most leagues.


Justin Smoak, 1B
placed on the bereavement list
Carlos Peguero, OF recalled from Triple-A Tacoma

Smoak, who is off to a good start this season, will be out a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven days. Peguero is a decent power prospect in the Mariners system but strikes out a ton (178 strikeouts in 130 games last season). He'll get an occasional start while Smoak is out and will go back to Tacoma when Smoak returns.


Victor Martinez, C
placed on the 15-day disabled list (groin)
Omir Santos, C called up from Triple-A Toledo

Martinez's groin injury doesn't appear to be overly serious, but the Tigers wanted to give Martinez plenty of time to heal and to open a roster spot. In Martinez's absence, the Tigers figure to use Magglio Ordonez as the DH and give Brennan Boesch and Ryan Raburn most of the starts in the outfield. Santos will serve as the backup catcher with Martinez out. Alex Avila will be behind the plate nearly every day, so don't expect much playing time for Santos.



Skip Schumaker, 2B
placed on the 15-day disabled list (triceps)
Nick Punto, 2B activated from the 15-day disabled list

Schumaker has hit for a solid average throughout his career, but has had minimal fantasy value due to his lack of power or speed. It's uncertain whether he'll miss more than the minimum 15 days, but his absence probably won't hurt too many fantasy teams. However, it leaves the Cardinals having to use the likes of Nick Punto at second base. Yuck.


Barry Zito, LHP
placed on the 15-day disabled list (foot)
Ryan Vogelsong, RHP called up from Triple-A Fresno

The former AL Cy Young Award winner has struggled since moving across the bay from Oakland to San Francisco. Zito hasn't posted an ERA less than four or posted a winning record in any of his four seasons with the Giants. Nevertheless, he has started at least 32 games in 10 consecutive seasons, making this DL stint a bit of a surprise. He'll now miss at least a month due to a sprained foot, and Vogelsong will fill in for the time being. Vogelsong doesn't have the best track record, so he's unlikely to help out a fantasy team much.

Cody Ross, RF
activated from the 15-day disabled list
Brandon Belt, 1B optioned to Triple-A Fresno

Ross made himself a household name after clubbing five home runs during last year's playoffs, helping the Giants to win the World Series. He's now back with the team after missing a few weeks with a strained calf and will resume his role as the team's everyday right fielder. He's a solid but unremarkable fantasy option. Aubrey Huff now moves from right field to first base, allowing the Giants to bump Brandon Belt from the roster. Belt struggled during his first look at the majors and will get more seasoning at Triple-A.


Jason Bay, LF
activated from the 15-day disabled list
Brad Emaus, 2B returned to Triple-A Las Vegas (Blue Jays)

Bay was one of the biggest disappointments of last season as he struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness. He was a fantasy stud before last season and will have to prove that he can return to form upon his return from a rib injury. To open a spot for Bay, the Mets returned Rule 5 pick Emaus to the Blue Jays organization. That means that Daniel Murphy will now get extra playing time as the Mets' primary second baseman. As a first baseman/outfielder in 2009, Murphy was a mediocre fantasy option, but second-base eligibility should give his value a boost.


Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP
activated from the 15-day disabled list
Ian Stewart, 3B optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs

Jimenez has been the most dominant starting pitcher in Rockies history, so they're glad to have him back in their rotation. He missed a couple of weeks due to a cut cuticle on his pitching thumb, but should now regain his place among the best pitchers in baseball (both fantasy and real-life). Stewart did not fare well in his 12 games with the club this year, so the Rockies will look at Ty Wigginton and Jose Lopez at the hot corner. Wigginton has been one of the game's most versatile utility players in recent years, while Lopez was awful as Seattle's third baseman last season.