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.
• Brandon Morrow lasted just a few pitches into his start last week when he was forced to leave with a left oblique strain, an injury that pushed him to the disabled list. There’s no timetable for his return, and left-hander Brett Cecil was promoted to pick up his spot in the rotation Sunday. Against the Phillies, Cecil, 25, pitched five innings to earn the win, allowing two earned runs and two walks while striking out five.
• Meanwhile in Toronto, Drew Hutchison was placed on the DL with a sore left elbow and will receive further evaluation, and Kyle Drabek has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, which translates to Tommy John surgery and at least a year away from competitive baseball. We’ll see how the Blue Jays scramble to fill these spots in their suddenly depleted rotation, but odds are Jesse Chavez (7-2, 3.84 ERA, 1.123 WHIP, 8.3 K/9 in 12 Triple-A starts) will pick up a start this week, and Carlos Villanueva and Aaron Laffey could also see cameos in the starting rotation, as well, going forward.
• This doesn’t sound good: Brandon Beachy left his start early Saturday with a sore right elbow, which was the subject of concern after his previous start. We’ll find out more today when the 25-year-old undergoes an MRI, but for the moment, it looks like Beachy could be in store for a lengthy absence. Jair Jurrjens, just called up from Triple-A, will take his place.
• Red Sox ace Josh Beckett will miss his next few starts after right shoulder inflammation sent him to the disabled list. Franklin Morales (0-1, 3.04 ERA, 1.225 WHIP, 7.6 K/9 in 23.2 innings) will take his spot in the rotation.
• Bothered by a blister injury, Drew Smyly landed on the disabled list early last week, but his absence has opened up a spot for phenom right-hander Jacob Turner, who is scheduled to make his first start of the season on Thursday. Turner, who was ranked No. 22 on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects entering the season, is 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.209 WHIP and 6.2 K/9 in 63.2 innings pitched in two minor-league stops this year, but it remains to be seen whether the Tigers will provide the 21-year-old with regular work going forward in the season.
• Turner’s arrival also comes at a time when Doug Fister will return to the rotation after his second DL stint due to an oblique injury. Fister, 22, is scheduled to take the ball on Friday against the Pirates.
• Well before Jason Bay used his head to soften his landing against the Citi Field left field wall Friday, fantasy owners already realized that the 33-year-old’s usefulness had significantly declined ever since he arrived in New York three years ago. But now that Bay has suffered a concussion, it’s foreseeable that he won’t play another game in 2012, as a similar injury two years ago destroyed his season. At the very least, he’ll be MIA for presumably the next few weeks.
Other bumps and bruises
• Joe Mauer missed time late last week with a sore hamstring, and a collision at the plate Sunday forced him to leave with a brusied quad.
• A bruised left quad kept Nick Swisher out of Sunday’s action.
• After missing his last two starts with shoulder soreness, Brandon McCarthy is expected to pitch Tuesday against the Dodgers.
• Josh Hamilton was hurt again this week, this time with an intestinal virus that sent him to the hospital. It appears he’s okay heading into week 12 but is considered day-to-day by manager Ron Washington.
• Twins’ closer Matt Capps was unavailable Sunday due to a sore shoulder.
Road to recovery
• Chris Carpenter threw off a mound last week for the first time since coming down with a shoulder injury in spring training that has so far ruined his 2012 season. There’s still no timetable yet for his return.
• Kris Medlen was called up by the Braves, but after struggling in the minors as part of his attempt to get into starter mode, he’ll be used out of the bullpen. His arrival prompted the Braves to cut Livan Hernandez.