1B | Lance Berkman | Texas Rangers | Injury, Fantasy,
Texas Rangers 1B Lance Berkman (hip, knees) won't play for Double-A Frisco as planned Thursday, Aug. 15. He went 0-for-1 with two walks in his fourth rehab game Wednesday, Aug. 14, and he is 4-for-11 in four games. Berkman could be added to the roster if the team puts SP Alexi Ogando (shoulder) on the disabled list. SP Ross Wolf would likely move into the rotation.
1B | Brandon Belt | San Francisco Giants | Fantasy
San Francisco Giants 1B Brandon Belt made some changes to his mechanics recently that have him hitting .438 in August. Hitting coach Hensley Meulens suggested that Belt talk with Philadelphia Phillies OF Domonic Brown, another lefty swinger very similar to Belt. Brown has turned his career around this year and explained to Meulens at the All-Star Game that he changed the grip on the bat and saw immediate results. Belt decided to adopt change, and it hasn't taken him long to find his new grip on the bat more comfortable.
Belt has also moved back in the batter's box, too. "The move back in the box, that's a big deal," Meulens said. "You don't see hitters in the front of the box like (he was). He had a couple of swings (July 28 against the Cubs) that he would have been called out because his foot was outside the box. Bochy got to him and said, 'Nobody hits like this. (Moving back) gives you more time to see pitches and more time to make a decision.'" Belt is hitting .438 in his last 10 games with three home runs, three doubles, 11 runs and seven RBIs.
Fantasy Tip: Belt's resurgence should alert fantasy owners that he's not dead, after all. Grab him off the wire if you're looking for a spark. Bruce Bochy is confident enough in Belt's changes that he's playing him against southpaws. More encouraging signs.
2B | Gordon Beckham | Chicago White Sox | Injury
Chicago White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham (quadriceps) left the team's game early Thursday, Aug. 15, because of a right quadriceps strain.
2B | Kolten Wong | St. Louis Cardinals | Fantasy
The St. Louis Cardinals will call up 2B Kolten Wong from Triple-A Memphis. OF Adron Chambers will be optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
Fantasy Tip: Owners in NL-only leagues should look to pick up Wong because he could receive fairly regular playing time. Owners in mixed leagues should take a wait-and-see approach before pursuing him.
2B | Wilmer Flores | New York Mets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Mets 3B Wilmer Flores (ankle) isn't expected to need a stint on the disabled list. He's not yet ready to run the bases, but he can pinch hit and then be replaced by a pinch runner.
Fantasy Tip: If the Mets wait two weeks, rosters will expand, anyway. It sounds like Flores isn't close to a return to the starting lineup, though. Hopefully the club reveals more this weekend.
2B | Elliot Johnson | Kansas City Royals | Transaction
The Kansas City Royals designated INF Elliot Johnson for assignment on Thursday, Aug. 15. The Royals needed a roster spot for the recently acquired INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio, and they have determined that 3B Mike Moustakas (calf) likely won't require a stint on the disabled list. Johnson is out of options.
2B | Rickie Weeks | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury, Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks (hamstring) underwent successful surgery on his left hamstring Thursday, Aug. 15, and he'll need four to six months of rehab.
Fantasy Tip: Scooter Gennett has taken over at second base for Weeks and should be considered in cavernous mixed formats for middle infield depth.
2B | Ryan Roberts | Tampa Bay Rays | Transaction,
The Tampa Bay Rays designated 2B Ryan Roberts for assignment Thursday, Aug. 15, to make room on the roster for SP Alex Cobb.
SS | Jed Lowrie | Oakland Athletics | Injury, Fantasy
Oakland Athletics SS Jed Lowrie (knee) appeared at DH on Thursday, Aug. 15, because he's still feeling pain from when he was struck in the right knee by an errant pickoff attempt on Tuesday, Aug. 13. He's expected to play in the field on Friday, Aug. 16.
Fantasy Tip: Any time Lowrie sustains an injury, it can alarm his fantasy owners. This one sounds as if it's no big deal. Check back to be sure.
SS | Erick Aybar | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Injury, Fantasy
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim SS Erick Aybar (calf) was back in the lineup Thursday, Aug. 15, after he left the game with cramping in his left calf Tuesday, Aug. 13.
SS | Derek Jeter | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy
New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter (calf) will need to run the bases and maybe play in a couple of rehab games before he's activated from the disabled list.
Fantasy Tip: Jeter won't provide much help in your fantasy league when he returns for what is left of the season. He should be owned in AL-only leagues, but there's not much of a case in any other type of league.
3B | Mark Reynolds | New York Yankees | Transaction, Free Agents, Fantasy
The New York Yankees have agreed to terms with free-agent 3B Mark Reynolds (Indians). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Fantasy Tip: It is not known how much playing time Reynolds will get, but he should help the team's lack of right-handed power hitters. He could be an option for AL-only owners looking for cheap power.
3B | Wilson Betemit | Baltimore Orioles | Injury
Baltimore Orioles 3B/DH Wilson Betemit (knee) moved to Double-A Bowie on Wednesday, Aug. 14, to continue his rehab assignment. Manager Buck Showalter said that Betemit will rehab at whichever of the club's affiliates is at home so that he can be the designated hitter.
Fantasy Tip: The O's have no need to use him in the field if and when he returns. But his assignment is likely to take awhile, so he may not be ready to play in the field, anyway. It's unlikely that Betemit makes a contribution in AL-only leagues before the season is through, but he may get an opportunity at some point in September.
3B | Mike Moustakas | Kansas City Royals | Injury, Fantasy
Kansas City Royals 3B Mike Moustakas (foot) is walking without a boot Thursday, Aug. 15, and will take part in some light on-field work.
Fantasy Tip: This is a good sign that Moose might be able to avoid the disabled list, but he's not out of the woods yet. Emilio Bonifacio is expected to take his spot at third base for however long he's sidelined.
C | Brett Hayes | Kansas City Royals | Transaction
Kansas City Royals C Brett Hayes cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Omaha Thursday, Aug. 15.
C | Alex Avila | Detroit Tigers | Injury, Fantasy
Detroit Tigers C Alex Avila (concussion) is waiting for clearance from the medical staff to resume baseball activities. The team is looking for a better headgear for Avila to avoid a recurrence.
C | Wil Nieves | Arizona Diamondbacks | Injury, Fantasy
Arizona Diamondbacks C Wil Nieves has stepped up while regular C Miguel Montero (back) is on the disabled list. He's batted .348 with a home run in 135 at-bats this season, although his BABIP is .411. Nieves, 35, credits acceptance in the last couple of years of his role as a backup as well as an improved routine, focused on mechanics rather than hitting for distance, in batting practice as prime reasons for his career year at the dish.
Fantasy Tip: Nieves has hit well this month as a regular, too, so there may be something to his improvements as a hitter. He could be of use as a second catcher in deep leagues, even mixed ones, while Montero is out. But fantasy owners shouldn't go heavily in pursuit of him.
C | Derek Norris | Oakland Athletics | Injury, Fantasy
Oakland Athletics C Derek Norris (back) returned to action on Thursday, Aug. 15, after he'd missed the previous four contests because of back spasms. He's healthy enough to play but said that he wasn't 100 percent.
Fantasy Tip: Norris has hit well since just before the All-Star break, although he remains an AL-only commodity.
C | Nick Hundley | San Diego Padres | Injury, Transaction, Fantasy,
The San Diego Padres placed C Nick Hundley on the paternity list Thursday, Aug. 15, and recalled C Chris Robinson from the minors in a corresponding move. Also, SP Jason Marquis (elbow) was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Fantasy Tip: Hundley will only be out a maximum of three games. Robinson and Rene Rivera will split the catching duties until then. They aren't worthy of addition in any fantasy format.
C | Yadier Molina | St. Louis Cardinals | Injury, Transaction, Fantasy
The St. Louis Cardinals activated C Yadier Molina (knee) and OF Shane Robinson (shoulder) from the 15-day disabled list Thursday, Aug. 15, and optioned INF Jermaine Curtis to Triple-A Memphis and placed C Tony Cruz (forearm) on the DL in corresponding moves. Cruz is dealing with a stress fracture of his left forearm.
OF | Peter Bourjos | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Injury, Transaction, Fantasy
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim activated OF Peter Bourjos (wrist) from the 15-day disabled list Friday, Aug. 16.
OF | Darin Mastroianni | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Transaction
The Minnesota Twins activated OF Darin Mastroianni (ankle) from the 15-day disabled list Thursday, Aug. 15, and optioned him to the minors.
OF | Anthony Gose | Toronto Blue Jays | Transaction, Fantasy,
The Toronto Blue Jays recalled OF Anthony Gose from Triple-A Buffalo Thursday, Aug. 15, and optioned RP Mickey Storey to Buffalo in a corresponding move.
Fantasy Tip: Gose offers elite speed if he plays regularly for deep mixed league owners, but don't hold your breath for any stats with his stick. If you need stolen bases, don't hesitate to snatch him up off the wire.
OF | Dayan Viciedo | Chicago White Sox | Injury
Chicago White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo (thumb) was not in the starting lineup Thursday, Aug. 15, for the sixth straight game. Viciedo said he can bat but is still having problems fielding the ball.
OF | Carlos Gomez | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Milwaukee Brewers OF Carlos Gomez (knee) suffered a right knee sprain Thursday, Aug. 15, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.
Fantasy Tip: Gomez probably will miss a few days because of the injury and could be out longer depending on what the MRI reveals. Owners should monitor the situation to see if Gomez will have to go on the disabled list.
OF | Angel Pagan | San Francisco Giants | Injury, Fantasy
San Francisco Giants OF Angel Pagan (hamstring) will begin his rehab assignment with three innings in the Rookie League Friday, Aug. 16.
SP | John Lannan | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Transaction,
The Philadelphia Phillies placed SP John Lannan (knee) on the 15-day disabled list Friday, Aug. 16, and recalled RP B.J. Rosenberg from Triple-A Lehigh Valley in a corresponding move.
SP | Josh Johnson | Toronto Blue Jays | Injury, Fantasy,
Toronto Blue Jays SP Josh Johnson (forearm) underwent an MRI on his injured forearm, which revealed a strained forearm and no torn ligaments. The team will send the MRI to Dr. James Andrews to see if he agrees with the team's diagnosis.
SP | Nick Blackburn | Minnesota Twins | Injury
Minnesota Twins P Nick Blackburn (knee) is scheduled to have surgery on Friday, Aug. 16, to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The procedure is likely to end his season.
Fantasy Tip: The right-hander never made it into a game for the parent club this season. He has a club option for 2014, and Minnesota is practically certain not to exercise it.
SP | Johnny Cueto | Cincinnati Reds | Injury, Fantasy
Cincinnati Reds SP Johnny Cueto (lat) and RP Sean Marshall (shoulder) will have strength tests on either Friday, Aug. 16, or Saturday, Aug. 17. If their results are good enough, they could resume throwing.
Fantasy Tip: Cueto has taken his sweet time to return from this type of strain this time. It's good for fantasy owners because they should be confident that he should be past the issue when he does come back, but he's running out of time to make an impact in fantasy leagues.
SP | Jarred Cosart | Houston Astros | Fantasy,
Houston Astros SP Jarred Cosart tossed six scoreless innings in his win over the Oakland Athletics Wednesday, Aug. 14, to improve his ERA to 1.15 in his first six career starts. His ERA is the sixth lowest among 660 pitchers between 1962 and 2013 that have had all six of their first games come in starts.
SP | Roy Halladay | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy,
Philadelphia Phillies SP Roy Halladay (shoulder) tossed six innings in his first rehab start Thursday, Aug. 15. He allowed three runs and six hits while striking out four and walking three in the Gulf Coast League. He'll toss a bullpen session Saturday, Aug. 17, and make another rehab start Tuesday, Aug. 20. Halladay threw 51 of 87 pitches for strikes.
Fantasy Tip: Halladay is getting very close to rejoining the Phils' starting rotation. It remains to be seen how effective he'll be, but it's likely he can provide some help to your fantasy rotation down the stretch in the right matchups. Pick him up if he was ditched by his previous owner.
SP | Alex Cobb | Tampa Bay Rays | Transaction,
The Tampa Bay Rays designated 2B Ryan Roberts for assignment Thursday, Aug. 15, to make room on the roster for SP Alex Cobb.
SP | Jose Fernandez | Miami Marlins | Fantasy,
Miami Marlins SP Jose Fernandez will be shut down at around 170 innings this year. He's currently at 139 2/3 innings, so he could be shut down before the season's final month. Fernandez had never pitched above Class A before this season as a 21-year-old. The team could decide to shut SP Jacob Turner down, too, if he shows signs of fatigue. SPs Brad Hand and Brian Flynn could be called up in September to help fill the rotation. SP Sam Dyson is another candidate. It's doubtful SPs Andrew Heaney, Anthony DeSclafini or Justin Nicolino will be recalled from Double-A Jacksonville.
Fantasy Tip: Fernandez, at 8-5 with a 2.45 ERA and 149 strikeouts, is a heavy favorite for NL Rookie of the Year honors. He's been fantastic, but the time to utilize his talents is running out. Just be aware. Any of the young hurlers the Marlins may call up would only be useful for a start or two in deep NL-only leagues. If you're in the running for a fantasy championship, it's probably wise not to rely on them.
SP | David Huff | New York Yankees | Injury, Transaction,
The New York Yankees recalled P David Huff from the minors Thursday, Aug. 15, and optioned RP Dellin Betances and moved RP David Phelps (forearm) to the 60-day disabled list in corresponding moves.
RP | Jim Johnson | Baltimore Orioles | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles RP Jim Johnson will remain the club's closer, said manager Buck Showalter on Thursday, Aug. 15. The manager was asked if RP Francisco Rodriguez could get an opportunity to pitch in the ninth inning, and he responded, "I don't foresee that."
Fantasy Tip: The O's have dealt with Johnson's failures on and off all season, so at some point they have to consider a change. It's not clear if K-Rod wouldn't get a chance just because Showalter may favor others or because he's loyal to Johnson. The likelihood is the latter, but Tommy Hunter and Darren O'Day would have to receive consideration as well in the event of a demotion of Johnson.
RP | LaTroy Hawkins | New York Mets | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
New York Mets RP LaTroy Hawkins is likely unavailable on Thursday, Aug. 15. Manager Terry Collins indicated that Gonzalez Germen or David Aardsma may close if the team encounters a save situation in the club's contest tonight.
Fantasy Tip: Hawkins blew a first save on Wednesday, his first since Bobby Parnell (neck) went on the DL, and his 40-year-old bones probably need a break. He still remains the favorite for saves for the Mets, although those mentioned may vulture opportunities a little more often than a regular closer would.
RP | Drew Storen | Washington Nationals | Fantasy,
Washington Nationals RP Drew Storen ditched his stiff-legged delivery when he was demoted to Triple-A Syracuse in favor of the standard leg kick he used when he was drafted 10th overall in 2009. "I just went back to what I did," Storen said. "That's why I was able to do it quick. It wasn't too crazy. It was going back to how I pitched for 20 years." He's more athletic with the old leg kick, and he allowed too many stolen bases before. He's now clocked at 1.3 seconds to home plate, compared to 1.8 seconds before being sent down.
His new delivery helps him throw more strikes, too. "The thing I like about my leg kick is, it automatically gets my arm up," Storen said. "It just happens. I felt like I had to worry about getting on top of the baseball. I don't have to do that when I have my leg kick." Manager Davey Johnson said Storen will pitch in late-inning situations with some of the other relievers struggling.
RP | Rafael Soriano | Washington Nationals | Transaction, Fantasy,
The Washington Nationals recalled RP Drew Storen from Triple-A Syracuse Thursday, Aug. 15, and optioned RP Ryan Mattheus in a corresponding move. Storen was sent down July 27 when he was 3-2 with two saves and a 5.95 ERA in 47 games. He was 0-0 with a 5.68 ERA in six games with Syracuse and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in his last three outings on the farm.
Fantasy Tip: Storen will likely be returned to some sort of setup role. He has very little chance of seeing save opportunities for the rest of the season unless there is an injury to Rafael Soriano, who has been solid all year long.
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