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Opportunity Knocks: Fantasy transaction analysis Aug. 17 - 24

Summarizing the notable transactions and trends from the past week.

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Injuries, Trades, Promotions, Demotions from Aug. 17 - Aug. 24...

AL East:

  • Blue Jays optioned 1B Matt Hague to AAA and recalled C Josh Thole.
  • Orioles have been starting OF Henry Urrutia in left field and C Steve Clevenger at DH since recalling the two on August 15. Clevenger is batting .406 during an 8 game hit streak right now.
  • Orioles activated OF/1B Steve Pearce, DFA'd OF Nolan Remold, and placed SS J.J. Hardy on the 15-day DL. Pearce will likely form a platoon in left field with Urrutia. UTL Ryan Flaherty will start at short in Hardy's absence.
  • Rays took a hit to their bullpen with news that Jake McGee has a torn meniscus in his knee.
  • Rays optioned LHP Enny Romero and recalled RHP Matt Andriese.
  • Red Sox called up RHP Jonathan Aro and optioned RHP Matt Barnes to AAA.
  • Yankees DFA'd LHP Chris Capuano and called up RHP Branden Pinder.

AL Central:

  • Indians placed 3B Chris Johnson on the 15-day DL and activated 2B Jason Kipnis from the DL.
  • Twins placed CF Aaron Hicks on the 15-day DL with a strained left hammy. As a result, uber prospect CF Byron Buxton has been recalled to patrol center for the Twins. Good timing too, as Buxton had been batting .400/.441/.545 in his first 13 games spanning 59 PA of AAA ball.
  • Royals announced recently that RHP Jeremy Guthrie has lost his rotation spot. No surprise there as he has been one of the worst performing starters all season by any metric you choose to look at. Former Braves star RHP Kris Medlen took Guthrie's rotation turn yesterday with a solid audition against the Orioles (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K).
  • Tigers took a hit to the rotation with duel DL placements in the same week for LHP Daniel Norris and RHP Anibal Sanchez. The Tigers are bringing old man LHP Randy Wolf back to the majors as a result after acquiring him from the Blue Jays.
  • The White Sox have turned to Tyler Saladino as their primary third baseman following the trade of 3B Conor Gillaspie to the Angels. Saladino has posted a pedestrian .244/.278/.344 slash line (.272 wOBA) in 172 PA with 3 HR. Known for his speed, Saladino has swiped 5 bases in 39 games.

AL West:

  • Angels recalled INF Grant Green and 3B Kaleb Cowart and DFA'd 3B Conor Gillaspie. Green, a former 1st rounder from USC, had been batting a solid .306/.337/.449 with 5 HR in 414 PA down at AAA. In limited MLB experience, Green has batted .255/.288/.333 in 285 PA with a 4.6% walk rate and 24.9% strikeout rate.
  • Astros recalled RHP Lance McCullers, Jr. and optioned OF Preston Tucker to AAA. McCullers picked up where he left off during his strong rookie season with a quality start on Sunday versus the Dodgers (7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K).
  • Astros also recalled rookie RHP Vincent Velasquez and optioned RHP Josh Fields. Normally a starter, Velasquez is expected to work out of the bullpen.
  • Athletics placed RHP Kendall Graveman on the 15-day DL and recalled 1B Max Muncy.
  • Athletics placed 1B Ike Davis on the DL and recalled OF Jake Smolinski.
  • Mariners DFA'd RHP Fernando Rodney (trade candidate?) and recalled LHP Roenis Elias.
  • Rangers placed OF Josh Hamilton on the 15-day DL and traded for Padres OF Will Venable to take his place on the active roster. RHP Jon Edwards was sent to San Diego to complete the trade.
  • Rangers activated LHP Derek Holland who had been out since April 10 and optioned RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez to AAA.
  • Rangers released INF Adam Rosales and recalled INF Hanser Alberto. Alberto, 22, has had a nice season down at AAA: .310/.331/.435 in 320 PA with 4 HR, 4 triples, 19 doubles, 9 BB, and 33 K.

NL East:

  • Braves activated 1B Freddie Freeman and optioned 1B/OF Joey Terdoslavich to the minors.
  • Marlins OF/3B Derek Dietrich has quietly posted an impressive .272/.374/.519 slash line (.383 wOBA) with 9 HR in 187 PA since his callup on June 12.
  • Mets acquired OF Eric Young, Jr. from the Braves.
  • Mets placed 1B Lucas Duda on the 15-day DL with a lower back injury. Some combination of Daniel MurphyKelly Johnson, and Michael Cuddyer will play first in his absence.
  • Mets placed RHP Bobby Parnell on the 15-day DL and called up RHP Logan VerrettVerrett made a spot start on Sunday in the unfriendly confines in Denver and pulled out a gem (8 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 8 K) for his first MLB win.
  • David Wright is back! The Mets activated their third baseman from the 60-day DL yesterday and he homered in his first game back.
  • Nationals placed 1B/OF Tyler Moore on the 15-day DL with a left ankle sprain and somewhat surprisingly called up SS Trea Turner. Turner, as you may recall, was acquired this offseason from the Padres in the Will Myers trade.
  • He was just drafted last year (1st round, 13th overall) and is now in the bigs. Turner has had an impressive season between AA and AAA, batting .322/.370/.458 in 492 PA with 8 HR, 7 triples, 24 doubles, 38 BB, 97 K, while going 29-for-36 in stolen base attempts. For more info on Turner, check out John's writeup.
  • Phillies placed 3B Maikel Franco on the 15-day DL and called up CF Aaron Altherr. The promotion of Altherr is timely as John did a writeup on him back on July 22. The gist of said article invokes the question of whether Altherr, always well regarded for his tools, is finally polishing up his game and adding skills to his tools. Lather, 24, posted an impressive slash line in the upper minors prior to his callup: .293/.367/.487 in 485 PA with 14 HR, 5 triples, 32 doubles, 49 BB, 84 K, and 16-for-20 in stolen base attempts.
  • Phillies traded 2B Chase Utley to the Dodgers for RHP John Richy and 2B Darnell Sweeney. For more info on those two, check out John's breakdown of the trade. The Phils activated Sweeney to take Utley's place on the active roster.
  • Phillies called up RHP Jerad Eickhoff from AAA and he impressed in his first MLB start versus the Marlins (6 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 K). Eickhoff was a part of the trade package the Phillies received for LHP Cole Hamels. At the time of the trade, John wrote, "Eickhoff is somewhat similar to Asher in profile, throwing a low-90s fastball with adequate secondary pitches, in his case a curveball and change-up. The curve is ahead of the change at this stage. He will show bursts of better fastball velocity at times, up to 96, and like Asher he could be a useful back-end starter or perhaps a more dominant pitcher in short relief doses"

NL Central:

  • Brewers placed RHP Tyler Cravy on the 15-day DL and claimed LHP Cesar Jimenez off waivers from the Phillies.
  • Brewers also called up OF Domingo Santanaone of the prospects they acquired in the Gomez-Fiers deal with the Astros. Santana, 23, has impressive upside if he can get his love affair with the strikeout under control. At AAA, he was batting .333/.426/.573 in 409 PA with 18 HR, 4 triples, 23 doubles, 54 BB, and 108 K. Here's a writeup from John on him from a few days ago.
  • Cardinals placed CF Randall Grichuk on the 15-day DL with a right elbow strain and recalled CF Tommy Pham from AAA. Pham is another tools type that dealt with health issues previously that has put together a nice season in the minors and could be a late bloomer: .327/.398/.503 in 193 PA with 6 HR, 1 triple, 10 doubles, 22 BB, 36 K, and 9 stolen bases.
  • Cardinals optioned LHP Tyler Lyons and recalled 2B Greg Garcia. Garcia, 26, played college ball at Hawaii like fellow Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong. Garcia projects more as backup though as he lacks the punch at the plate to hold down an everyday job.
  • Cubs placed RF Jorge Soler on the 15-day DL with an oblique strain and recalled INF Tommy La Stella. This move allows the Cubs to move Chris Coghlan back to the outfield. Expect opportunity to knock for La Stella to get some regular playing time at second base.
  • Reds placed CF Billy Hamilton on the 15-day DL. Who benefits? OF Brennan Boesch does. The Reds recalled him from AAA.
  • Reds current rotation looks a lot different than it did opening day: RHP Anthony DeSclafani, RHP Raisel Iglesias, LHP John Lamb, RHP Keyvius Sampson, LHP David Holmberg.
  • Pirates activated both 3B Josh Harrison and SS Jordy Mercer. 1B/OF Travis Ishikawa headed to the 15-day DL with a lower back strain and SS Pedro Florimon, Jr. was DFA'd to make room on the active roster.

NL West:

  • Giants activated C Andrew Susac and optioned C Hector Sanchez.
  • Giants acquired OF Marlon Byrd from the Reds to take the place of OF Hunter Pence, who hit the DL again with a left oblique strain. Byrd, 37, is batting .236/.284/.450 (.313 wOBA, 96 wRC+) with 20 HR in 402 PA.
  • Giants also activated RHP Mike Leake from the DL and interestingly optioned RHP Chris Heston. What's the reasoning? Bruce Bochy said they want to ease off Heston a bit, who may be dealing with fatigue as he has completed 5 innings just once in his last 4 outings. He's expected to return when rosters expand in September.
  • Dodgers activated 2B Chase Utley and DFA'd INF Alberto Callaspo.
  • Joc Pederson has lost his starting job as the Dodgers center fielderKike Hernandez will be seeing a bump in playing time as a result. With good reason too: .295/.343/.494 (.358 wOBA, 131 wRC+) with 6 HR in 182 PA. Adjust your fantasy teams accordindly.
  • Diamondbacks activated RHP Randall Delgado and recalled RHP Chase Anderson. Diamondbacks also selected the contract of former Rockies starter RHP Jhoulys Chacin. Chacin impressed in his first outing back last night against the Cardinals (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 5 K).
  • Diamondbacks placed RHP Jeremy Hellickson on the 15-day DL with a strained left hammy and optioned RHP Zach Godley.
  • Rockies optioned RHP David Hale and recalled RHP Chad Bettis.
  • Rockies placed C Michael McKenry on the 60-day DL with a lateral meniscus tear and called up C Dustin Garneau.