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Transaction Analysis: Welcome Back Weaver

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

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


Jered Weaver, RHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Jerome Williams, RHP - placed on the 15-day DL (breathing difficulties)

Impact: Weaver was activated from the DL on Wednesday after missing about three weeks with a strained lower back. The Angels ace became one of the top starting pitchers in baseball in recent years, and his success continued into the 2012 season. Over 11 starts prior to the injury, he was 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. While he should be limited to a pitch count of about 80-90 pitches in his first start, there is no reason to believe that he won't be able to return to form. Williams passed out in the Angels clubhouse after his start Monday night due to breathing issues and will be given a couple of weeks to fully recover. He is 6-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts).


Bud Norris, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (left knee)
Dallas Keuchel, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City

Impact: Norris shouldn't miss too much time as he recovers from a sprained left knee. Although his 4.81 ERA and 1.42 WHIP have probably not helped his fantasy owners, his 81 strikeouts in just 73 innings make his lousy ratios a little more tolerable. Keuchel is a 24-year-old lefty who has shown good control over his minor league career. Unfortunately, he has also shown a tendency to give up a lot of hits while posting mediocre strikeout numbers, so fantasy owners will probably want to avoid him. He will get a look for probably a couple of starts until Norris is ready to go again.

Carlos Lee, 1B -
activated from the 15-day DL
Brett Wallace, 1B - optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City

Impact: Lee's home run totals have declined every season since he hit 37 bombs in 2006, and it looks like that will be the case again this season. He hit just 18 home runs last year, his lowest total since his rookie campaign in 1999. In 49 games before landing on the DL with a strained left hamstring this season, he was hitting a healthy .297, but with just four home runs and 23 RBI. While he's not the worst fantasy option out there, it is clear that his best years are behind him. Wallace was given an opportunity to prove he can hit major league pitching after two sub-par seasons with the Astros in 2010 and 2011. He did not disappoint, as he hit .333 with a couple of home runs in 11 games, but now will get regular playing time in the minors.


Brandon Beachy, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right elbow)
Todd Redmond, RHP - recalled from (and then optioned to) Triple-A Gwinnett

Impact: Beachy has easily been the Braves' best starter this season, posting a sparkling 2.00 ERA and an excellent 0.96 WHIP over 13 starts. Unfortunately, he will not pitch again this year after being diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his right elbow. Jair Jurrjens will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday to start in Beachy's place, though Jurrjens did not pitch well in his four starts before his demotion in late April. He returns to an 0-2 record, an ugly 9.37 ERA and a terrible 2.45 WHIP. Fantasy owners will want to make sure the 2011 All-Star is over his early season struggles before activating him on their rosters. Redmond did not appear in a game during his three days with the team.


Skip Schumaker, 2B/OF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Maikel Cleto, RHP - optioned to Triple-A Memphis

Impact: The versatile Schumaker returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing three weeks with a hamstring injury. He is usually more valuable to an actual major league team than to a fantasy team, as his power and stolen base numbers are always lacking. He returns to a nice .321 batting average, with no home runs, 16 runs scored and 12 RBI in 30 games and figures to get regular at-bats. Cleto has failed to fool major league hitters so far with his high-90s fastball, as they have hit .372 off of him in seven relief appearances between 2011 and 2012. He should get another chance at some point this season.


Geovany Soto, C -
activated from the 15-day DL
Welington Castillo, C - optioned to Triple-A Iowa

Impact: Soto was struggled with the bat before he hit the DL last month with a torn meniscus in his left knee. In 28 games before the injury, he hit just .161 with three home runs and six RBI. He looked much better in his first game back Monday, as he went 2-for-5 with a home run. While Soto always seems to post respectable power numbers, his batting average has fluctuated greatly from year to year, making his fantasy contributions hard to predict. He is most likely a .250ish hitter with decent power for a catcher. Castillo hit just .206 in nine games with the Cubs and could return to the team the next time they need a catcher.

Ryan Dempster, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL
Scott Maine, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Iowa

Impact: Dempster experienced tightness in his right lat, which landed him on the DL for the second time this season. His first DL stint came in April when he strained his right quad, forcing him to miss a couple of weeks. He has pitched well when healthy, posting a nice 2.11 ERA through 12 starts and registering 22 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts. Randy Wells filled in for Dempster on Wednesday, but pitched poorly, giving up three earned runs on five hits and four walks through just 3.2 innings. He probably is best avoided in most fantasy leagues. Maine will pitch in relief and has a 6.35 ERA in six appearances with the Cubs this season.


Jeremy Hellickson, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right shoulder)
Chris Archer, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Durham

Impact: Hellickson was placed on the DL with shoulder fatigue after a disastrous outing last Thursday when he gave up eight earned runs in just 3.2 innings against the Mets. His overall numbers for the season still look pretty decent, as he has maintained a 3.45 ERA through 13 starts. The Rays are optimistic he won't miss more than a couple starts. The 23-year-old Archer will fill Hellickson's spot in the rotation. He's a risky fantasy option, as he's struggled with his control throughout his minor league career.

Red Sox

Ryan Sweeney, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL (toe)
Ryan Kalish, OF - recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket
Cody Ross, OF - activated from the 15-day DL
Scott Podsednik, OF - placed on the 15-day DL (left groin)

Impact: Boston's outfield situation changed once again as Sweeney and Podsednik both landed on the DL. Sweeney is hitting .292 in 52 games, but has yet to hit a home run or steal a base. He'll miss some time with what is being described as a "inor toe issue." Podsednik, who did not appear in a major league game in 2011, is hitting .387 with six stolen bases in 19 games. He'll be out for at least a couple of weeks with a strained left groin. Ross missed a month with a fracture in his left foot and returns to a .271 average, eight home runs and 28 RBI in 37 games. Kalish started the season on the 60-day DL after he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He missed all of 2011 after hitting .252 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 2010. Both Ross and Kalish figure to receive regular at-bats and are worth adding to most fantasy rosters.


Alex Avila, C -
Activated from the 15-day DL
Bryan Holaday, C - optioned to Triple-A Toledo

Impact: A strained right hamstring kept Avila out of action for a couple of weeks, but he was activated from the DL on Thursday. His numbers this season have not been as impressive as they were in 2011, as he returns to a .250 average, five home runs and 20 RBI in 44 games. Based on his track record, his 2012 numbers appear to be a better indication of his true abilities, so fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to match the .295 average, 19 home runs and 82 RBI of a year ago. Holaday was 3-for-10 while serving as Detroit's backup catcher during Avila's DL stint.