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Transaction Analysis: Star Shortstops Sit, Again

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.



Carlos Carrasco, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (elbow)
Jack Hannahan, 3B - activated from paternity leave list

Impact: Carrasco temporarily avoided having to serve a six-game suspension as he was placed on the DL with elbow inflammation. He received the suspension after he threw at Billy Butler during a rough start July 29. Carrasco has given up at least three earned runs in each of his last six starts, posting an ERA of 7.92 over those starts before experiencing soreness after his last start Aug. 3. His numbers overall have been mediocre, but not terrible (8-9 with a 4.62 ERA), and he'll have to miss at least 15 days with the injury before serving his six-game suspension upon his return from the DL. Left-hander David Huff is expected to be recalled from Triple-A to take Carrasco's turn in the rotation Saturday. Huff is 1-1 with an ERA of 0.51 in three starts with the Indians. Despite his numbers, he's a risky fantasy option due to his lackluster track record. Hannahan was away from the team for a few days for the birth of his son, and returns to a backup role.


Scott Baker, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (elbow)

Impact: For the second time this season, Baker has been sent to the DL due to a flexor muscle strain in his right elbow. After missing a couple of weeks with the injury in early July, Baker pitched well in his first three starts upon his return, giving up just two earned runs over 17 innings. However, his two starts since then were terrible, as he gave up eight earned runs over nine innings and was complaining of soreness in his elbow after his last start. His overall numbers have been great, as he has an ERA of 3.21 and has been striking out hitters at a career-high rate of 8.20 K/9. As of yet, there is no set timetable for his return, but it's possible that he could be shut down for the rest of the season if his condition does not improve. The Twins are expected to recall Kevin Slowey from Triple-A Rochester on Friday to take Baker's spot in the rotation. After four years as a starter, Slowey began this season in the bullpen, but was limited to just six appearances due to a couple of stints on the DL and a subsequent demotion to Triple-A Rochester. He has been a steady enough performer over his career to make him worth a look in deeper leagues.



Chris Narveson, LHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (thumb)
Frankie De La Cruz, RHP - contract purchased from Triple-A Nashville

Impact: Despite a combined 20-15 record over the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Narveson hasn't really pitched well enough to be helpful in most fantasy formats. His 4.77 ERA over that span isn't useful at all, and his 7.38 K/9 strikeout rate isn't high enough to compensate for his lousy ratios. He'll miss some time after cutting the thumb on his pitching hand on a pair of scissors. The Brewers will turn to either Marco Estrada or De La Cruz to take his spot in the rotation. Neither player is likely to be worth a look in most fantasy leagues.


Dee Gordon, SS -
placed on the 15-day DL (shoulder)

Impact: While he hasn't done much with the bat, the 23-year-old shortstop has shown impressive speed, stealing 12 bases in 30 games for the Dodgers. He'll miss at least a couple weeks with a shoulder contusion, with Jamey Carroll filling in at shortstop. Carroll is a slap hitter who can hit for a high average but with very little power. He has 12 career home runs in more than 1,000 major league games, and hasn't hit any since 2009. It is expected that the Dodgers will bring up infielder Justin Sellers from Triple-A Albuquerque to back him up.


Hanley Ramirez, SS -
placed on the 15-day DL (shoulder)
Chris Volstad, RHP - recalled from Triple-A New Orleans

Impact: Ramirez has returned to the DL for the second time this season after he sprained his left shoulder Tuesday night. His first stint on the DL was the result of a back strain that kept him out for the first half of June. The star shortstop has been one of the top performers in fantasy baseball the last five seasons, but his numbers in 2011 have been very disappointing. His batting average has plummeted to a career-low .243, which is well below his career average of .306. His power numbers haven't been where they usually are either, as he's hit just 10 home runs in 92 games after crushing at least 20 in each of the past four seasons. Versatile utility man Emilio Bonifacio will handle the shortstop duties in his absence.


Jose Reyes, SS -
placed on the 15-day DL (hamstring)
Daniel Murphy, 1B - placed on the 15-day DL (knee)
Mike Baxter, OF - called up from Triple-A Buffalo
Ruben Tejada, IF - recalled from Triple-A Buffalo

Impact: The Mets have once again lost their hot-hitting shortstop to a strained left hamstring. Reyes missed a couple of weeks in early July due to hamstring troubles, and his most recent injury will likely keep him out for the same amount of time. He's hitting .336 with 34 steals in 98 games. Ruben Tejada will get the majority of playing time at shortstop while Reyes recovers, and is not a viable fantasy option in most leagues. Murphy's season is done after he tore a ligament in his left knee Sunday, which now leaves the Mets without their two best hitters. He finishes the year with a .320 average over 109 games. Baxter has shown an ability to hit for average in the minors and could be worth a look if he's given regular at-bats.


Chase Headley, 3B -
placed on the 15-day DL (finger)
James Darnell, 3B - contract selected from Triple-A Tucson

Impact: Headley has been one of the Padres' most consistent hitters this season, batting .292 over 107 games. While his power numbers have been unimpressive, he has helped out his fantasy owners by swiping 13 bags. He's expected to miss four to six weeks with a broken pinkie finger. Darnell has been tearing up minor league pitching this season, hitting a combined .317 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI in 102 games between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson. He should share the third-base duties with Logan Forsythe, possibly even becoming the regular at the position. However, his young age and San Diego's pitcher-friendly ballpark make him a risky fantasy pick at this point.


Chris Heisey, LF -
placed on the 15-day DL (oblique)
Dave Sappelt, OF - called up from Triple-A Louisville

Impact: Heisey began the season as the Reds fourth outfielder, but eventually earned the starting job in left field due to his productive bat and the trade of Jonny Gomes to the Nationals. In just 217 at-bats, he has managed to hit 12 home runs, but a strained oblique will shut him down for at least a couple of weeks. Sappelt hit .313 in 74 games with Triple-A Louisville this season, but stole just four bases after swiping a combined 72 bags over his previous two seasons of minor league ball. He figures into the left field mix in Cincinnati, along with Fred Lewis and Yonder Alonso.