RotoWire Partners

Transaction Analysis: Struggles on the South Side

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.

Here's a look at some of the top moves in baseball this week.



Brian Roberts, 2B -
activated from the 60-day DL
Jair Jurrjens, RHP - designated for assignment

Impact: After being limited to just 115 games the previous three seasons combined, Roberts actually came into the 2012 season healthy. That didn't last long, however, as he managed to appear in just three games before injuring his right hamstring. That injury cost him almost three months, as he was forced to undergo surgery on the ailing hamstring. It's hard to say how much value he can add to a fantasy team at this point in his career, so fantasy owners should use caution. Ryan Flaherty should see a reduction in playing time as he now returns to a bench role. Jurrjens posted a 4.91 ERA over two appearances with the O's.



Trevor Cahill, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right hip)
Chaz Roe, RHP - contract purchased from Triple-A Reno

Impact: Cahill's ERA has climbed more than two runs per game over his last eight starts, so the D-Backs opted to shut him down with what is being called a hip contusion. He is the owner of a 3-10 record and 4.66 ERA and probably won't miss much more than the 15 day minimum. Tyler Skaggs and Charles Brewer have been mentioned as the most likely candidates to replace Cahill in the rotation, though neither is likely to help a fantasy team. Roe gives Arizona an extra bullpen arm but can be avoided for fantasy purposes.


Bryce Harper, OF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Erik Davis, RHP - optioned to Triple-A Syracuse

Impact: The Nationals' 20-year-old slugger ended up missing five weeks with bursitis in his left knee. Harper hit .270 last season, with 22 home runs and 59 RBI, while also adding 18 stolen bases. He was doing even better before the injury this year, as he hit .287 with 12 home runs and 23 RBI in 44 games, with an impressive OPS of .973. Roger Bernadina had been getting most of the playing time in left field recently, and is now looking at reduced time. Davis made five relief appearances with Washington, giving up three earned runs in 4.1 innings.


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

Impact: Avila was struggling with the bat before an injury to his left forearm shut him down in mid-June. The 26-year-old catcher returns to a lousy .182 average, six home runs and 18 RBI through 50 games. He did manage to go 2-for-4 with a homer in his first game back, so fantasy owners may not want to give up on him quite yet. Brayan Pena hit fairly well while filling in for Avila and returns to a backup role. Holaday went 3-for-13 in four games with the Tigers.



Scott Feldman, RHP -
acquired from Chicago Cubs with C Steve Clevenger for RHPs Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop and cash

Impact: Baltimore made a move Tuesday to bolster its starting rotation as the Orioles picked up Feldman from the Cubs. The right-hander was on pace for one of the best seasons of his career with the Cubbies, as he went 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA in 15 starts. He's moving from the National League to the American League and has a career 4.46 ERA, so potential fantasy suitors may want to lower their expectations a tad. Arrieta has a career 5.46 ERA and figures to stay in the minors for now, while Strop has struggled to the tune of a 7.25 ERA over 29 relief appearances this year. Clevenger is hitting .125 (1-for-8) in eight games this year and will give the Orioles some minor league catching depth.


David Price, LHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Ryan Roberts, IF - optioned to Triple-A Durham

Impact: Price missed a month and a half with a strained left triceps after starting the year with a less than spectacular 1-4 record and 5.24 ERA over nine starts. His strikeout rate before the injury was encouraging, as he fanned 49 hitters in 55 innings, so he could still return to his 2012 form. The left-hander has gone 51-24 with a 2.93 ERA the last three seasons combined. Roberts was shipped to the minors after homering twice in his last game. He leaves behind a .250 average, five home runs and 16 RBI in 49 games with the Rays.


Dexter Fowler, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL (right wrist)
Edgmer Escalona, RHP - activated from the 15-day DL

Impact: The Rockies center fielder will be out of commission for a couple weeks as he recovers from a bruised bone in his right hand. Fowler is hitting .291 this year, with 10 home runs, 49 runs scored, 26 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 71 games. Tyler Colvin and Chris Dickerson should share the center-field duties while Fowler is on the shelf, but neither is recommended in most league formats. Escalona went 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA in 21 relief appearances with the Rox earlier this year and shouldn't be fantasy relevant.


Josh Willingham, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL (left knee)
Aaron Hicks, OF - activated from the 15-day DL

Impact: Willingham will be forced to miss some time due to a torn meniscus in his left knee. The 34-year-old slugger has struggled this year after putting together a career year in 2012. He's hitting just .224 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 70 games and is looking at an extended stay on the DL. Hicks appeared in 56 games with the Twins before straining his left hamstring and returns to a paltry .179 average, six home runs and 19 RBI. He isn't likely to have much value in mixed leagues.



Peter Bourjos, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL
Collin Cowgill, OF - recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake

Impact: Bourjos will miss at least two to three weeks after he suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right wrist Saturday. It's a tough blow for the center fielder, as he had already missed more than a month earlier this year with a strained left hamstring and had just sat out four games with a thumb injury. He leaves behind a .326 average, 21 runs, three home runs, 10 RBI and four stolen bases in 40 games. J.B. Shuck will once again see regular action in the outfield, though his complete lack of power and mediocre stolen base numbers make him an undesirable fantasy option outside of the deepest leagues.

White Sox

Paul Konerko, 1B -
placed on the 15-day DL (lower back)
Brent Morel, 3B - recalled from Triple-A Charlotte

Impact: Konerko has seen his power numbers drop considerably this year, as he's managed to hit just seven home runs in 67 games, while also seeing his batting average drop to .249. He likely will be out at least three weeks due to a strained lower back he aggravated Tuesday night. Jeff Keppinger figures to get some extra playing time as he shares the first base and DH duties with Adam Dunn, but is probably only worth a look in deeper leagues. Morel gives the White Sox some depth at third base and a right-handed bat off the bench.



Wilson Ramos, C -
activated from the 15-day DL
Jhonatan Solano, C - optioned to Triple-A Syracuse

Impact: Ramos finally returned to action Thursday after missing a month and a half with a strained left hamstring. The 25-year-old catcher from Venezuela has had his fair share of injuries during his young career, as he was also limited to just 25 games in 2012. He had a big day at the plate in his first game back, as he went 3-for-4 with a home run and five RBI. He still swings a pretty decent bat, though he may have to split the catching duties with Kurt Suzuki for the time being. Solano appeared in 16 games with Washington, and hit .167 with no home runs and two RBI.