(Editor’s Note: We are pleased to have George Kurtz join RotoExperts.com and our coverage to write about Fantasy hockey, football and especially baseball. Clearing the Bases will appear each week to cover all the significant roster moves, trades and DL news and outline their Fantasy implications for the balance of the season. George is a talented writer with unique insights that we’re sure you’ll find helpful as you make your own Fantasy roster moves. TM)
Starting today we are going to write a weekly transaction column that outlines how these moves by MLB teams may or may not change your Fantasy outlook. The All-Star game was played on Tuesday and there are no games until Friday. Sounds like it should be an easy week for lineups but one thing to keep in mind is that starting rotations for some teams will be in a state of flux until managers see if their pitchers throw an inning or two during the game. With this week only consisting of three games for each team, a starting pitcher that throws 20 plus pitches could easily see his team play it safe and delay his start until Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully, your league allows you to wait until game time Friday to set your lineup. If not, and you’re pitching staff is deep, I would always play it safe and go with the starter that you know is going to pitch.
Monday July 8
Nationals activate Dan Haren from the 15-day DL. Now I know Haren pitched a gem Saturday night, but that was versus the offensively challenged Marlins. The question is whether he will continue to make himself Fantasy worthy versus real major league teams. So far, Haren is not working out in Washington, as his 5.61 ERA and 1.42 WHIP will attest. If I owned him on any of my Fantasy teams (I don’t) I would just be hoping he wouldn’t hurt my team at this point.
Rockies place Roy Oswalt on the 15-day DL. I really have to believe that anyone who claimed Oswalt when he was signed and was starting him was really just saved from themselves with this move
Brewers activate Ryan Braun from the 15-day DL. I’m sure this was a move Fantasy owners were rejoicing about until he was placed on the bereavement list a couple of days later. Braun is certainly a contender for most disappointing Fantasy player. Drafted among the Top-3 in most leagues, he only has nine HRs, 36 RBI, and four SBs. Most owners were expecting at least double those numbers. Perhaps the PED scandal has been weighing him down. He should be back following the All Star Game, and you can’t get equal value for him in a trade, so you’re going to have to hope he suddenly becomes the player you thought he was in March.
Brewers place Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day DL. This seemed to be a long time in coming, as the Brewers had been managing his knees all season, giving him at least one day off a week. I wouldn’t panic about him. Five or six games a week out of Ramirez is better than six or seven from most third basemen.
Dodgers place Matt Kemp on the 15-day DL. Now if Braun is not the winner of most disappointing player, Kemp is. He went as early as fourth overall in some leagues and in the first round of almost all. His shoulder may be well enough for him to play but it’s not 100 percent. It may take another offseason of strength and rehabilitation before he returns to normal, maybe even longer than that. Biggest worry for Fantasy owners post ALL STAR BREAK is that he could lose playing time in the Dodgers OF if his play doesn’t improve. I’m not saying he would be a part-time player, but someone among Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig and Kemp has to sit each game. Once again, if you wanted to trade him, you would almost definitely be selling low.
Tigers place Omar Infante on the 15-day DL. Infante (ankle) lands on the DL after the take out slide by the Blue Jays Colby Rasmus. Latest news is that he is not healing as quickly as the team had hoped and may not be able to return to action the first day he is eligible, July 19.
Diamondbacks activate Adam Eaton from the 15-day DL. This was Eaton’s first action since last season, and while a slow start to the season is to be expected and not necessarily something to worry about, it’s also prudent to remember that in 10 rehab games he only hit .143. Not to mention the OF situation in Arizona is a little bit crowded at this point in time. In other words, if he doesn’t hit, he may not play much either.
Pirates place Neil Walker on the 15-day DL. Not that Walker (oblique) was a top player at 2B to begin with, but he was someone who should’ve been a MI consideration. His numbers, however, are down across the board. As good as Pittsburgh has been, is as bad as Walker has been. Might be time to move on even when he returns to the action.
Orioles option Zach Britton and Kevin Gausman to TRIPLE-A. Britton has seemed to be a prospect for a decade now and just hasn’t been able to take that next step, while Gausman looks like he just needs some more time at Triple-A. It’s kind of tough for Baltimore to trust either one of them right now while they’re in the middle of a pennant race. In keeper or dynasty leagues Gausman would seem to have a brighter future than Britton.
Athletics option Dan Straily to TRIPLE-A. Straily was more than likely only sent down because he wouldn’t start for the A’s again until after the All Star break. No reason to let him sit for two weeks.
Orioles activate Wei-Yin Chen from the 15-day DL. Chen has only started nine games this season, but they have been quality starts. He may only have four wins but a 2.82 ERA and 1.16 WHIP shows he may be more than just a matchup play.
Red Sox option Allen Webster to TRIPLE-A. To put it nicely, Webster has struggled with the Sox. He should only be on the roster of extremely deep leagues or in those where you can keep him.
Rangers place Yu Darvish on the 15-day DL. This once again seemed to be a move of convenience. The MRI came back clean on his trapezius muscle and if not for the All Star break, perhaps he doesn’t even go on the DL. He is expected back July 22 versus the Yankees and though I generally like to play it safe when it comes to activating a pitcher off the DL, he is a must start against that lineup.
Yankees activate Derek Jeter from the 60-day DL. Yeah, he managed to play about seven innings before suffering a quad injury that has once again put him on the shelf. The Yanks are going to wait until after the All Star Game to determine his status. It would not be a surprise if he ended up on the DL and let’s face it, even when healthy, what will he do for you? There won’t be any power to speak of and coming off two broken ankles and now the quad, he’s not going to be stealing any bases either.
Royals place Wade Davis on the paternity list. Congratulations Wade, now your Fantasy owners should put you on their waiver wire list.
Cardinals recall Carlos Martinez from Triple-A. The Cards are loaded with pitching prospects. Martinez isn’t going to close or start for St. Louis but if you’re the type of owner that likes strong relievers to protect his ratios and get a few Ks, Martinez could be your man.
Rockies activate Dexter Fowler from the 15-day DL. Fowler started the season on fire, looking like things may have finally clicked for him, but over the last two months life has been somewhat of a struggle as the league seems to have caught up with him. Bottom line, though, is that he is a good source of power and speed. If you have him, you start him.
Diamondbacks option Tyler Skaggs to Triple-A. Like a few others, he will be back after the break. He could be a mainstay in the DBacks rotation from this point on, but he’s probably still little more than a matchup play for me at this point.
Rockies activate Troy Tulowitski from the 15-day DL. You have no choice but to place Tulo in your lineup as soon as possible. There’s no way you have someone better on your roster, but I don’t understand why MLB teams activate a top player three days before the break only to sit him one of those days. Isn’t it better to let him get the extra week’s rest? Jeff Rutledge could see his playing time diminish.
Rockies option Tyler Colvin to Triple-A. Colvin’s attitude was a big part of the reason he started the season at Triple-A, his performance may be the reason he finishes there.
Astros recall Jarred Cosart from Triple-A. What a debut for Cosart, as he was pretty close to lights out versus Tampa. I would’ve liked to see a few more Ks for Fantasy purposes but that is probably nitpicking. The problem is Cosart was sent back down to Triple-A after the game and may stay there for a while; he could be back if there is an injury or in September when rosters expand.
Padres activated Jedd Gyorko and Yonder Alonso from the 15-day DL. Well, neither one could get a hit off Tim Lincecum Saturday night. Gyorko should go back in your lineup immediately, while Alonso is more than likely a reserve or waiver wire fodder.
Rockies option Drew Pomeranz and recall Juan Nicasio from Triple-A. Nicasio will have to pitch well in order to stay in the rotation once Oswalt returns from the DL. We scoffed at the Cleveland Indians when they made Pomeranz part of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal. Well Cleveland may be getting the last laugh as Pomeranz just hasn’t developed while Ubaldo is doing some damage now for the tribe.
Red Sox acquire Matt Thornton from the White Sox. Some may think Thornton could be in the mix for some saves with Boston. That’s extremely unlikely unless a lefty laden lineup is due up in the 9th, and Thornton has had some issues with right-handers this year.
Astros activate Justin Maxwell from the 15-day DL. We all knew that Maxwell was going to be a drag on your average but we were dreaming of a possible 20-20 player. Oh well, can’t win them all.
Blue Jays activated Brett Lawrie from the 15-day DL. Lawrie has been a disappointment going on two seasons now. He seems to have more days on the DL than he does hits and now the Jays are trying him at 2B. Well the additional eligibility is nice but where is the speed/power combo we were promised? I’m not giving up yet, but I’m teetering.
Braves activate Evan Gattis from the 15-day DL. With all of the injuries to the Braves OF, Gattis could see a decent amount of playing time to start the second half. Keep in mind, though, that most of his numbers were accumulated early this season. Teams had started to figure him out before the injury.
Braves place B.J. Upton on the 15-day DL. Listen, it’s not going to happen this year; it’s time to let him go and find someone else. I never like to trust players their first season in a new league but no one saw this disaster coming. Another source of power and speed bites the dust.
Phillies place Ben Revere on the 15-day DL. What makes his broken foot even more troublesome is that this season speed has been tough to find. It seems like no one really wants to run.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.
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