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Transaction Analysis: Captain Comeback

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 most noteworthy transactions throughout the majors this week, along with their fantasy implications:



A.J. Burnett, RHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Ryan Reid, RHP - optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis

Impact: Burnett was dominant earlier this season before a strained right calf shut him down for nearly a month. Through 14 starts, the right-hander was 4-6 with a 3.12 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 89.1 innings. He should now be safe to activate in most fantasy leagues. Brandon Cumpton was optioned to Triple-A last week to open up a rotation spot for Burnett, after going 0-1 with a 4.02 ERA over three starts. Reid looked sharp in seven relief appearances with the Bucs, leaving behind a 1.64 ERA.



Ryan Braun, OF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Aramis Ramirez, 3B - placed on the 15-day DL (left knee)

Impact: Braun needed about a month to fully recover from an inflamed nerve in his right hand. The star outfielder was hitting .304 with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 57 games at the time of the injury. Logan Schafer appears to be the most likely outfielder to lose playing time as a result of Braun's return. Ramirez had been suffering from soreness in his left knee, so the Brewers opted to shut him down for a couple weeks. The Dominican third baseman is hitting .271 with five home runs and 26 RBI through 54 games. Juan Francisco should get most of the playing time at third base while Ramirez is out, and could have some mixed league value.


Matt Kemp, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL (left shoulder)
Scott Van Slyke, OF - recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque

Impact: Kemp has been shut down once again after he injured his surgically-repaired shoulder Friday. The veteran outfielder was a fantasy stud as recently as a couple years ago but has so far had a forgettable season. He leaves behind a .254 average, four home runs and 24 RBI through 61 games. The Dodgers had a logjam in the outfield, with Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier all vying for playing time, so Kemp's injury opens up some at-bats for the other three. Van Slyke adds some outfield depth but likely will not have any fantasy relevance in most leagues.


Dan Haren, RHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Tyler Moore, OF - optioned to Triple-A Syracuse

Impact: Haren had been one of baseball's most consistent pitchers for several years before the start of the 2013 campaign. The veteran righty got off to a rough start this year, however, as he went 4-9 with a 6.15 ERA over his first 15 starts. The Nats shut him down for a couple weeks with inflammation in his right shoulder and they hope that the rest will have done him some good. Fantasy owners may want to wait and see if he returns to form before activating him. Moore did very little with the bat in 42 games with Washington, hitting just .151 with three home runs and 14 RBI.



Neil Walker, 2B -
placed on the 15-day DL (right oblique)
Josh Harrison, IF - recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis

Impact: Pittsburgh's second baseman will miss at least a couple weeks with a strained right oblique. Walker has been having an off-year by his standards, as his batting average sits at a mediocre .244 through 72 games. Brandon Inge figures to get extra playing time at second base, and Jordy Mercer and Clint Barmes could also see extra at-bats as a result of Walker's injury. Mercer may have some value in deeper leagues as Pittsburgh's primary shortstop, but Inge and Barmes should probably be avoided in most league formats. Harrison gives the Bucs some depth in both the infield and outfield, but probably won't play enough to have value in most fantasy leagues.


Omar Infante, 2B -
placed on the 15-day DL (left ankle)
Hernan Perez, IF - recalled from Double-A Erie

Impact: Infante sprained his ankle during last Wednesday's game, and will have to take some time off to recover. He's eligible to come off the DL just after the All-Star break, so he may not miss that much time. Infante owns a .309 average and has six homers and 27 RBI in 76 games. Light-hitting Ramon Santiago will get the majority of the starts at second base in his absence, but can be safely avoided in the majority of fantasy leagues. Perez gives the Tigers infield depth.



Wei-Yin Chen, LHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Zach Britton, LHP - optioned to Triple-A Norfolk

Impact: Chen missed almost two months with a strained right oblique and was activated in time to start against the Rangers on Wednesday. He was 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA in eight starts before the injury, but had a mediocre strikeout rate of 5.13 K/9. Still, he should have some value in most mixed leagues, especially those without innings limits. Britton went 2-3 with a 4.76 ERA over six starts with the O's and will likely get another look later this year.


Yu Darvish, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right trapezius)
Joseph Ortiz, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Round Rock

Impact: Darvish is dealing with some fatigue in his right trapezius muscle, so the Rangers have decided to shut him down for a couple weeks. Due to the All-Star break, the right-hander (who is leading the majors in strikeouts) should only miss one start. He leaves behind an 8-4 record, 3.02 ERA and 157 strikeouts in 119.1 innings. Ross Wolf will make the start in Darvish's place, but can be avoided in the majority of fantasy league formats. Ortiz is 2-1 with a 5.08 ERA over 22 relief appearances with Texas this year and shouldn't have any fantasy relevance in most leagues.



Erasmo Ramirez, RHP -
recalled from Triple-A Tacoma
Carter Capps, RHP - optioned to Triple-A Tacoma

Impact: The Mariners rotation got a boost Thursday when the team recalled Ramirez from Triple-A. The Nicaraguan righty had a good first season in the major leagues last year with Seattle, posting a 3.36 ERA over 16 appearances (eight starts). He could prove to be a valuable fantasy asset in most league formats. Capps was awful in 33 relief appearances for Seattle this year, posting a 6.37 ERA and 1.67 WHIP.


Dexter Fowler, OF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Corey Dickerson, OF - optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs

Impact: Colorado's speedy center fielder returned after missing just two weeks with a bruised bone in his right hand. Fowler is still on pace for one of the best season of his career, as he was hitting .291 with 10 home runs and 49 runs scored in 70 games at the time of the injury. Fowler's return likely means less playing time for Tyler Colvin and Charlie Blackmon. Dickerson hit just .212 (7-for-33) without a homer in 15 games for Colorado.


Derek Jeter, SS -
activated from the 60-day DL
Travis Ishikawa, 1B - designated for assignment

Impact: Jeter's season finally got under way Thursday as he returned from a fractured left ankle that kept him out almost the entire first half. The veteran shortstop had a nice 2012 season, as he hit .316 with 99 runs scored, 15 home runs and 58 RBI in 159 games. He was pulled from Thursday's game due to tightness in his right quad, so fantasy owners will want to keep an eye on his status to make sure the injury is not serious. Eduardo Nunez and Luis Cruz should both see a significant reduction in playing time due to Jeter's return. Ishikawa had a lousy time at the plate during his seven games with the Yankees, hitting just .105 with ten strikeouts in 19 at-bats.

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