This week in (fantasy) baseball 6/4-6/10by Karl de Vries
June 11, 2012
It’s hard enough following one’s own fantasy team without having to keep track of an entire sport’s daily transactions. To assist you, here’s a column dedicated to recapping the most notable trades, signings, promotions, demotions and role changes across the majors over the past week as they relate to fantasy. We'll do this on a weekly basis. If you feel I've missed anything important, please don't hesitate to keep the conversation going in the comments below.
• Heading into week 10, Jaime Garcia was a risky start, having been scratched from a turn with a balky elbow. But after he was nuked by the Astros last week, it’s official: The Cardinals southpaw is seriously ailing after tearing in his labrum and rotator cuff.
At minimum, Garcia, 25, will miss at least the next month as he looks to avoid surgery, but he’s scheduled to visit the dreaded Dr. James Andrews today, which could hint at a more serious injury. For the moment, it appears right-hander Joe Kelly, 24, will replace him in the rotation. Kelly was 2-5 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.327 WHIP in 12 Triple-A starts before his promotion, and he pitched fairly well in a no-decision Sunday, going five innings and allowing just one earned run with four strikeouts and one walk.
• Derek Holland landed on the 15-day DL with shoulder fatigue, though it doesn’t appear he has any structural damage. He was replaced in the rotation by Alexi Ogando, but there’s one problem: Ogando himself was injured Sunday when he strained his right groin running to first. He’ll be examined today.
• Bothered recently by a strained right hamstring, Detroit catcher Alex Avila was knocked to the DL last week. He was replaced on the roster by 24-year-old Bryan Holaday, who will split catching duties with Gerald Laird while Avila recovers.
• The Royals lost one of their best starters over the weekend when Felipe Paulino was placed on the DL with a strained right groin. Paulino, who was 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA, 1.221 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 in seven starts, will likely miss at least a start or two with the injury. Look for Luis Mendoza (2-3, 5.36 ERA, 1.809 WHIP in 43.2 innings) to pick up his action in the rotation.
Other bumps and bruises
• Melky Cabrera was absent this weekend as he rests a sore right hamstring.
• Felix Hernandez, who’s been dealing with a sore back this month, is expected to make his next start on Tuesday.
• Carlos Zambrano left his start early Saturday after experiencing lower back stiffness, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll make his next start.
• Yoenis Cespedes, who’s been nagged by injuries all season, missed the second half of last week with a strained left hamstring and could return by Tuesday, though the A’s might take it slow with their star center fielder.
• Tim Hudson missed Sunday’s start with a bone spur in his left ankle, though he expects to pitch this week.
• Well, that didn’t take long: Brian Fuentes has been bounced out of the closer’s job in Oakland after coughing up another game over the weekend. Manager Bob Melvin says the team will go with a closer-by-committee situation, using Fuentes, ex-closer Grant Balfour and Ryan Cook, who’s been outstanding so far this season (1-1, 0.69 ERA, .846 WHIP, 8.7 K/9 in 26 innings pitched). Melvin says he doesn’t want to use Cook as the full-time closer since he likes having him on call for late-inning situations, but Cook is certainly someone to keep an eye on as the save situations might begin to pile up for him.
• It’s too soon to tell for sure, but Brandon League might regain the closer’s job in Seattle after all. League, 29, has pitched well in six games since losing the job, and he’d replace Tom Wilhelmsen, who’s acted as his de facto replacement over the past couple of weeks.
• Gaby Sanchez was recalled Sunday from Triple-A and went 1 for 4 with a RBI double in his return. He’ll likely play first base full-time, giving him an opportunity to live up to the potential that garnered him a spot on last year’s NL All-Star team.
• Unfortunately, Julio Teheran’s 2012 major league cameo is over—for now. The 21-year-old phenom was demoted back to the minors after filling in for Hudson, and pitched decently, giving up three earned runs in 4.1 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
• Jeff Francis has returned to Colorado, though the pitching-starved team might need more help than the 31-year-old southpaw, who was lit up in 3.1 innings and surrendered 10 hits and eight earned runs.
Karl de Vries is a New Jersey-based writer and journalist who prefers following fantasy baseball to watching his hapless Mets embarrass themselves on TV every night. He can be reached at karl[dot]rotodiamond[at]gmail.com or followed on Twitter at @Karl_de_Vries.
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