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Transaction Analysis: Utley, Finally, Returns for Phils

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.


Brandon McCarthy, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL
A.J. Griffin, RHP - contract purchased from Triple-A Sacramento

Impact: McCarthy's shoulder issues have landed him on the DL yet again. Oakland's Opening Day starter has missed significant time to injuries in recent years and has already missed a couple weeks this year with soreness in his right shoulder. He has apparently been pitching through the shoulder pain, though you would never know it looking at his numbers since his last DL stint. In those three starts, he has given up just three earned runs in 20 innings, for an ERA of 1.35. Rookie A.J. Griffin takes over McCarthy's spot in the rotation, though his inexperience makes him a risky fantasy option.

Blue Jays

Adam Lind, 1B -
contract purchased from Triple-A Las Vegas
David Cooper, 1B - optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas

Impact: Lind got off to a slow start with Toronto this year, necessitating a demotion to the minors. In 35 games with the Blue Jays, he hit just .186 with three home runs and 11 RBI. He forced the Jays to add him to their roster once again, however, as he was absolutely crushing the ball at Triple-A. In 32 games for Las Vegas, he hit .392 with eight home runs and 29 RBI. While his offensive numbers have tailed off since his impressive 2009 campaign, a significant improvement over his early 2012 numbers should be expected. Cooper hit .292 with two home runs and six RBI in 24 games, but had to be sent down to make room for Lind.


Anthony Rizzo, 1B -
recalled from Triple-A Iowa
Adrian Cardenas, IF - optioned to Triple-A Iowa

Impact: Rizzo was absolutely tearing it up at Triple-A, as he hit .342 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI in 70 games. Although he did not fare well in his first taste of the big leagues last season (.141, 1 HR, 9 RBI in 49 games with San Diego), he is one of the most highly-touted hitting prospects in baseball. He will bat third while serving as the Cubs' regular first baseman and should be worth owning in most fantasy leagues. His promotion creates a domino effect, as Bryan LaHair moves from first base to right field, and David DeJesus moves from right field to center. Reed Johnson, Joe Mather and Tony Campana would appear to be the most likely candidates to lose playing time as a result of this move. Cardenas hit .189 (7-for-37) in 25 games with the Cubs this year.


Joe Saunders, LHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (left shoulder)
Jonathan Albaladejo, RHP - recalled from (and then optioned to) Triple-A Reno
Trevor Bauer, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Reno
Josh Bell, IF - optioned to Triple-A Reno

Impact: Saunders may be back as early as next week as he attempts to recover from a strained left shoulder. The veteran lefty is 4-5 with a 3.44 ERA in 13 starts. The injuries to Saunders and Daniel Hudson (who is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the year) allow the D-Backs to get a look at highly-touted prospect Trevor Bauer. Bauer is 11-1 between Double-A and Triple-A this year with an overall ERA of 2.23 and 116 strikeouts in 93 innings. He's definitely worth a look in most fantasy league formats. Josh Collmenter will move from the pen to the rotation to fill the remaining spot. He's 0-2 with a 4.80 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 45 innings, and could be of some value in deeper NL-only leagues. Albaladejo has appeared in two games with Arizona this season, giving up a couple of runs in two innings. Bell hit .173 with one home run and four RBI in 21 games with Arizona.


Frank Francisco, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (left oblique)
Ramon Ramirez, RHP - activated from the 15-day DL

Impact: The Mets will look to Bobby Parnell to close games as Francisco will miss some time with a strained left oblique. Francisco has converted 18-of-21 save opportunities for the Mets, albeit with a lousy 4.97 ERA and a pedestrian 1.59 WHIP. Parnell has closer's stuff, averaging in the mid-90s with his fastball. However, he has shown a tendency to give up too many hits throughout his major league career, so fantasy owners should be realistic with expectations. Ramirez returns to his middle-relief role after missing a few weeks with a strained right hamstring, sporting a 4.78 ERA through 22 games.


Chase Utley, 2B - activated from the 15-day DL
Michael Martinez, IF -
optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Impact: Utley's 2012 season is starting very late as a result of ongoing knee problems. While he still swings a decent stick when healthy (.259, 11 HR, 44 RBI in 103 games last year), he seems to have become a constant injury risk. The once-durable Utley appeared in at least 130 games every year from 2005 to 2009, but has missed 106 games the last two seasons. He's still worth owning in most leagues, but owners do need to keep an eye on his health. Martinez hit just .133 (6-for-45) in 16 games with the Phillies this year and had been serving as the team's regular second baseman after Freddy Galvis went down with a back injury earlier this month.


Colby Lewis, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right forearm)
Martin Perez, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Round Rock

Impact: Lewis will be shut down for a couple of weeks with tightness in his right forearm. The move comes after a disastrous start last Saturday against the Rockies when he gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits through just four innings. Scott Feldman will once again be asked to fill in for an injured starter, though his numbers this year have not been impressive. He is 1-6 with a 6.00 ERA through 13 games (eight starts). Fantasy owners in need of pitching help will want to look elsewhere. Perez should work out of the bullpen and isn't likely to be fantasy relevant for most leagues.


Matt Capps, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right shoulder)
Tyler Robertson, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Rochester

Impact: Capps will miss at least a couple weeks with inflammation in his right shoulder. The Twins closer has performed well this year, converting 14-of-15 save opportunities with a 3.42 ERA. Glen Perkins and Jared Burton should share the closing duties in Minnesota for the time being. Both pitchers have pitched well this year, so fantasy owners in need of some saves might want to give these guys a look. Robertson will work in relief and isn't a likely candidate for saves at this point.

White Sox

Kevin Youkilis, 3B -
acquired with cash from Boston for IF-OF Brent Lillibridge and RHP Zach Stewart

Impact: The White Sox significantly upgraded their offense at third base as they picked up the veteran Youkilis from the Red Sox. "Youk" was off to a slow start with Boston this year, as he hit just .233 with four home runs and 14 RBI in 42 games. His playing time was reduced in Boston as a result of the emergence of Will Middlebrooks, and his numbers should improve considerably in Chicago as he returns to a full-time role. The White Sox have primarily used Brent Morel and Orlando Hudson at third base this year, and the pair has combined for a .174 average (35-for-201) with just one home run and 16 RBI entering the week. Lillibridge can be used almost anywhere, but figures to see most of his playing time in the outfield as several of Boston's outfielders are on the DL. He hit .175 with no home runs and two RBI while with the White Sox. Stewart reports to Triple-A Pawtucket after going 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 18 appearances for Chicago.


CC Sabathia, LHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (left groin)
Andy Pettitte, LHP - placed on the 60-day DL (left ankle)
Ryota Igarashi, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Adam Warren, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Impact: It was a rough day for the Yankees on Wednesday as they lost two starters to injury. Sabathia's injury isn't too serious, as he's expected to miss just two weeks with a strained left groin. However, Andy Pettitte was hit by a line drive and will be out for at least a couple of months with a fractured left ankle. The two vacant rotation spots will go to Freddy Garcia and Adam Warren, and whoever performs better will likely stick around once Sabathia returns. Garcia has made 14 appearances (four starts) through Wednesday and is sporting an ugly 6.39 ERA. Warren is 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA through 15 starts at Triple-A. He has given up 99 hits in just 86.1 innings, making him a risky fantasy option.