This week in (fantasy) baseball 7/2-7/8

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.

Fantasy infirmary

Giancarlo Stanton won’t make the All-Star Game after undergoing knee surgery last week, which will cost him up to the next six weeks. Emilio Bonifacio, who’s scheduled to return after the break, will help plug the Marlins’ outfield.

Dan Haren hadn’t missed a start since 2005, but lower back stiffness has forced the 31-year-old to the disabled list earlier this week. The Angels’ rotation is already short, with Jerome Williams dealing with respiratory issues and Ervin Santana still having problems on the mound, but left-hander Brad Mills picked up a win Sunday with five scoreless innings against the Orioles. Mills, 27, has had an undistinguished career thus far, but he’s probably bought himself at least another couple of starts given the lack of manpower in the team’s starting pitching.

• The good news for Andrew Cashner is that his latest injury, a strained lower lat muscle, doesn’t involve his elbow or his shoulder, meaning the oft-injured 25-year-old will be back this season. The bad news is we might not see him for at least a month, as it’s the same injury that cost Huston Street a similar amount of time earlier this year. The Padres’ rotation has been gutted by injuries this year, so Ross Ohlendorf could pick up some starts now that Cashner is down.

• A torn thumb ligament will deny fantasy owners Dee Gordon’s stolen base production for the next month and a half after the 24-year-old hurt himself sliding into third base. Shortstop replacements could include Luis Cruz, Elian Herrera, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Juan Uribe, though none of these players offers much in the way of fantasy value.

• Speaking of injured Dodgers, in the end, Andre Ethier’s strained rib cage muscle was indeed enough to land him on the disabled list. The move was retroactive to late June, so it’s possible he could be back by the end of the week.

• Here’s a phrase that’s gotten a lot of use over the past few years: Brian Roberts is headed back to the disabled list, this time for a right hip labral tear. It’s not yet clear whether Roberts will require surgery, but assuming he does, it’s important to remember that the same injury cost Alex Rodriguez roughly two months back in 2009.

Alex Presley landed on the seven-day concussion DL after trying to make a diving catch last week. The soon-to-be 27-year-old was turning things aorund in an otherwise disappointing 2012 season, so hopefully he can return this week and continue contributing to the Pirates’ surprising run.

Other bumps and bruises

Jesus Montero missed the weekend after suffering a minor concussion due to a foul ball taken off his face mask earlier last week. It doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but it could be enough to sideline him in the break-shortened week 15, so keep an eye on his condition.

Johan Santana won’t start this week after getting his ankle stepped on by Reed Johnson while covering first base during his last start.

Andrelton Simmons left Sunday’s game after fracturing the pinkie of his right hand. It’s not yet clear whether he’ll require surgery, but it sounds like he could miss some time with the injury.

Hanley Ramirez left Sunday’s action after suffering a right finger laceration.

Minor developments

• After a promising start to the season, Orioles’ right-hander Jake Arrieta was sent down after a parade of ugly starts and chronic control problems. Chris Tillman, following an excellent start against the Mariners last week, was also demoted to the minor leagues, but that’s so he can pick up another start during the All-Star break. Expect Tillman to be back at the major league level within a matter of days.

• Now that the Marlins have received Carlos Lee in exchange for a couple of minor-leaguers, struggling Gaby Sanchez is a very expendable commodity, evidenced by his second demotion to the minors over the past month. With first base now occupied, Sanchez could very well be traded in the upcoming weeks, which might not be the worst outcome for his fantasy viability, especially since he did make the All-Star team last season.

Hector Noesi was sent down to the minors last week after posting a 2-11 record with a 5.77 ERA over 17 starts.

Road to recovery

Matt Kemp advanced to Triple-A for his rehab over the weekend and is expected to lead the National League as captain during the Home Run Derby tonight. But after a series of setbacks from what’s mutated into a two-and-a-half month hamstring strain, the Dodgers will likely be extremely careful with their superstar as they ease him back into the lineup this week.

Ryan Dempster posted five scoreless innings against the Mets on Sunday, his first start since June 15 after experiencing a tight back. His return sent Chris Volstad to Triple-A.

Ryan Howard made his 2012 season debut Friday after suffering a ruptured Achilles’ tendon last October, and Roy Halladay could rejoin the Phillies in week 16; he’s scheduled to make a rehab start on Thursday.

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Comments

  1. Karl de Vries said...

    Junkie—

    I’m really, really sorry for not getting to your comment earlier, but hopefully I can make some tardy amends.

    Off the bat, I’d take Hart over Scott, just because I think there’s more of a track record there. I’d also be worried about Matsui eating into Scott’s plate appearances, a concern that obviously doesn’t apply to Hart.

    Personally, I’ve always been cold to Hart (conversely: not Hart-warming), since I’ve always thought of him as a somewhat limited player, but he’s usually been solid for at least HRs while throwing in a steal or two and not hurting in any particular category. (There’s also the memory of a monster 2010 campaign to keep hopes alive.)

    Although he has 17 bombs so far, Hart’s walk rate is down against a higher strikeout rate, and I’m not sure how much those numbers will turn around. But he has a steady job, plays in a decent hitter’s park and should finish with roughly 25 home runs and 75 RBIs or so.

    So yeah, Hart over Scott. Definitely.

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

    —Karl

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