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Transaction Analysis: Nightmare Weaver

Ryan Arbour

Arbour writes the weekly Transactions article for RotoWire. He also enjoys creating his own projections and statistical analysis each winter for the upcoming season. In his spare time, Arbour roots for the Blue Jays from north of the border.

There was plenty going on during week two of this young baseball season. Here's a look at some of the top moves this week:



Freddie Freeman, 1B -
placed on the 15-day DL (right oblique)
Blake DeWitt, IF - contract purchased from Triple-A Gwinnett

Impact: Freeman is just 23 and already has 329 career major league games under his belt. He has fared rather well with the bat over that span, hitting .271 with 46 home runs and 178 RBI. He will miss some time due to a strained right oblique, with Chris Johnson filling in at first base in the meantime. Johnson was in a platoon at third base with Juan Francisco, but now both players should get regular playing time while Freeman is out. Johnson hit .281 with 15 homers and 76 RBI with Houston and Arizona last year, while Francisco hit .234 with nine bombs and 32 RBI in 192 at-bats with the Braves. Both players might be worth a look in deep fantasy leagues. DeWitt will provide some infield depth.


Cole De Vries, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right forearm)
Pedro Hernandez, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Rochester

Impact: De Vries won a spot in the Twins rotation to start the year after going 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 16 starts last season for the Twinkies. He'll miss at least a couple of weeks due to tightness in his right forearm. Pedro Hernandez got the call to start in his place Sunday and didn't factor into the decision. The left-handed Hernandez is a control pitcher who has shown a tendency to give up a lot of hits in the minors. He isn't likely to help a fantasy team, so you'd be well advised to look elsewhere.



David Freese, 3B -
activated from the 15-day DL
Ryan Jackson, IF - optioned to Triple-A Memphis

Impact: The Cards third baseman missed the first six games of the season due to a strained back that he suffered during spring training. Freese appeared in a career-high 144 games last season and finished the year with a .293 average, 20 home runs and 79 RBI. Matt Carpenter manned the hot corner for five of the six games that Freese was out. Carpenter can play several positions and should still get into a fair number of games even with Freese back in action. Jackson went 0-for-3 with a couple of strikeouts in his brief stint with St. Louis.



Jered Weaver, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (left elbow)
Dane De La Rosa, RHP - contract purchased from Triple-A Salt Lake

Impact: Weaver is expected to miss at least four weeks after sustaining a fractured elbow on his non-throwing arm. He injured the elbow while diving to avoid a comebacker from Mitch Moreland during the sixth inning of Sunday's contest against the Rangers. Garrett Richards appears to be the frontrunner for the vacant spot in the rotation, though he isn't likely to contribute anything in terms of fantasy value in anything but the deepest of fantasy leagues. De La Rosa served as the closer for Triple-A Durham last year while in the Rays organization, but figures to be used in low-leverage situations with the Angels.



Scott Sizemore, 2B -
placed on the 15-day DL (left knee)
Andy Parrino, IF - recalled from Triple-A Sacramento

Impact: After missing the entire 2012 season due to a torn ACL in his left knee, Sizemore managed to get into just two contests this year before tearing the same ligament once again. He figured to be in the mix for playing time at second base this year, but will now miss the rest of the season. Eric Sogard should get most of the starts at second base, with Jemile Weeks likely to be called up at some point. If Sogard's career numbers are any indication of his true hitting abilities, then fantasy owners should avoid him like the plague. Parrino provides some infield depth, but is most likely not worthy of fantasy consideration.


Chad Billingsley, RHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Tim Federowicz, C - optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque

Impact: Billingsley's 2012 season was cut short due to an elbow injury, as he went 10-9 with a 3.55 ERA over 25 starts. He appeared to be fully recovered heading into spring training, only to wind up bruising his index finger during a bunting drill in mid-March. He should make a nice fantasy asset, as long as he can steer clear of further injuries. Federowicz was 0-for-3 with a walk in his brief stint with the Dodgers.


Matt Harrison, LHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (lower back)
Justin Grimm, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Round Rock

Impact: Harrison landed on the DL after he was removed from his start Saturday with soreness in his lower back. The left-hander put up some very respectable numbers in 2011 and 2012, going a combined 32-20 with an ERA of 3.34 over those years. He struggled through his first two starts this year, however, giving up 10 earned runs in 10.2 innings for an ERA of 8.44. Justin Grimm takes over Harrison's spot in the rotation but probably isn't worth taking a chance on in most fantasy leagues.

Red Sox

Stephen Drew, SS -
activated from the 7-day DL
Jose Iglesias, IF - optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket

Impact: Drew has been hit hard by injuries in recent years, as he was limited to a combined 165 games over the last two seasons. It's fitting then that he would start the 2013 season on the DL as well, this time as a result of a concussion sustained in early March. His numbers weren't pretty last year, as he managed to hit just .223 with seven home runs, 28 RBI and a sad .657 OPS over 79 games between Arizona and Oakland. Still, he was a pretty decent hitter before all of the injuries, and could be a useful fantasy tool if he can stay healthy. Iglesias made the most of his brief opportunity in Boston this year, hitting .450 (9-for-20) over six games. He'll get regular at-bats in the minors as Pedro Ciriaco remains Boston's backup infielder.

John Lackey, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right biceps)
Alex Wilson, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket

Impact: After a disastrous 2011 season, and then missing the entire 2012 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Lackey hoped to get off to a strong start this year. Unfortunately for him, he strained his right biceps during his start Saturday and had to be removed from the game. He is eligible to return April 22, and his injury has not been deemed serious. Alfredo Aceves moves into the rotation from the bullpen to take Lackey's spot. He has a total of nine career starts in the major leagues, and is coming off a season in which he posted a 5.36 ERA as Boston's closer. Needless to say, fantasy owners may want to look elsewhere for help. Wilson moves into the bullpen and should not be fantasy relevant.



Aaron Harang, RHP -
acquired from Colorado for RHP Steven Hensley
Kameron Loe, RHP - designated for assignment

Impact: The Mariners moved to bolster their shaky rotation Thursday by picking up the veteran Harang from the Rockies. The 34-year-old righty went 24-17 with a 3.62 ERA the last two seasons combined and could be a nice fit in Seattle's pitcher-friendly ballpark. While he's no longer the 200-strikeout-a-season pitcher he was in his prime, he could still be worth a look. Either Brandon Maurer or Blake Beavan will get bumped from the rotation if the Mariners don't stick Harang in the bullpen to start out. If Harang joins the rotation right away, Beavan is likely headed to the bullpen as the long man. If the Mariners were to nix Maurer, they would probably rather send him to Triple-A to continue to start. Loe was terrible in four games with Seattle, posting an ERA of 10.80 over 6.2 innings.