Fantasy 30: John Lackey's return, Gerardo Parra's opportunity

Gerardo Parra is playing a new position, and it could mean increased playing time down the stretch. USA TODAY Sports

Even when you're a fan of one specific major league baseball team, it can be difficult to keep track of all of the news that surrounds your favorite club on a daily basis.

However, when you're a fantasy baseball owner and you now have to multiply that effort by 30 in order to be as up to date as possible with each and every club? It's a fool's errand that borders on the impossible.

Fear not! We'll be here each and every Monday to give you a snapshot of what's going on in the world of baseball, with one fantasy takeaway from each of the league's 30 teams. Think of it as your one-stop shop for the week ahead.

Here are the takeaways for this week, as the last days of August give way to September baseball on Thursday.

Arizona Diamondbacks: After April surgery to fix his fractured elbow -- a process that involved screws and a metal plate -- it was simply assumed that A.J. Pollock would miss the entire season. However, his recovery went better than anyone expected, and he is indeed back in action for the D-backs. He started off slowly, going 0-for-8 in his first two games, but went 3-for-5 on Sunday, with two stolen bases and two runs scored. "I don't feel like I'm quite there yet, I still feel like the game's a little fast," Pollock said. "That's natural and I'm sure it'll get better and better."

Atlanta Braves: Aaron Blair is now 0-6 in the majors, after giving up three home runs over just four innings in yesterday's 13-4 loss to the Giants. The young pitcher, despite the 8.23 ERA, will be given every chance to turn things around in September. "We've just got to stay with him," manager Brian Snitker said. "He's young. You saw glimpses of the stuff, but it's got to be consistent and it's got to be every pitch..." A spot in the rotation for 2017 is there for Blair, but only if he can show the team some progress the rest of the way in 2016.

Baltimore Orioles: A left hamstring strain forced Adam Jones to the bench for the weekend series against the Yankees. It certainly seemed like the Orioles were concerned about it being a lengthy absence for the outfielder when they called up Julio Borbon from Double-A to start on Saturday in Jones' place. However, Borbon has already been designated for assignment, which should indicate the team feels Jones will be back in the lineup soon, perhaps as early as Monday.

Boston Red Sox: It's nearly impossible for anyone to be hotter than Dustin Pedroia is right now, batting .600 in his last six games, including a run of 11 consecutive at-bats with a hit that ended on Saturday night. Unfortunately, a family funeral saw Pedroia absent from the Red Sox on Sunday night, and he may end up missing the start of Monday's game as well. However, he plans to make it back to the stadium in time to potentially pinch-hit, so he won't be placed on the bereavement list by the team.

Chicago Cubs: John Lackey will throw two bullpen sessions this week for the Cubs, and if all goes off without a hitch, he may start for the team against the Giants over the weekend. Once Lackey returns, manager Joe Maddon may well decide to keep Mike Montgomery in the rotation, going with six starters: "We haven't planned that specifically yet. I'm not opposed, let me put it that way. We'll see how it all plays out with Mikey the next time through. Again, to do anything we possibly can to conserve our arms for the end of the year is important."

Chicago White Sox: Adam Eaton may miss a game or two after getting hit by a pitch on Sunday. X-rays on the outfielder's right forearm were negative, but immediately after the injury, Eaton was unable to hold onto his bat. Expect J.B. Shuck to get a start on Monday, although if a night of sleep allows Eaton to recover, there's always a chance he'll convince manager Robin Ventura to let him get back in there.

Cincinnati Reds: While Zack Cozart was dealing with an Achilles injury, Jose Peraza started six games, getting multiple hits in five of them, and batting .433 in that stretch. However, Cozart came back on Saturday, and Peraza is now relegated to the bench. Still, manager Bryan Price is impressed with what he's seen from the youngster and says he'll try to find spots to use him. The key word here is "try": "I'll spell him at short and he'll periodically pick up some games in the outfield and maybe a day off for (second baseman) Brandon (Phillips). There's just not many of those days," Price said.

Cleveland Indians: Mike Napoli has been in the major leagues since 2006, yet even with over a month left in the season he's already had more plate appearances this year (519) than in all but one other campaign (578 in 2013). That's why manager Terry Francona is going to use Carlos Santana at first base more often, keeping Napoli at DH. "I want to keep his bat in there, and I don't want to run him into the ground," Francona said. "He's never really played this much."

Colorado Rockies: Expect Gerardo Parra to continue to get starts at first base. The team decided to send Ben Paulsen back to Triple-A after hitting just .115 in his attempt to replace the injured Mark Reynolds. Parra has gotten three starts at first since Paulsen was shipped out and manager Walt Weiss likes what he sees from a guy who had never previously played the position: "He looks comfortable to me. You watch for things. The awareness, the body language. He just looks comfortable over there."

Detroit Tigers: Jose Iglesias is back from the disabled list, but manager Brad Ausmus has not yet committed to playing him every day. Iglesias did start at shortstop both Saturday and Sunday, going 0-for-4 with a walk and a HBP -- but those starts came against left-handed pitchers. Erick Aybar and Casey McGehee had been playing shortstop and third base, respectively, during Iglesias' absence, and going forward, some sort of three-man rotation for those two spots may be in the works. "Whoever plays better is going to play. Simple as that," Ausmus said. "We'll just see how it goes. I'm not locking into anything."

Houston Astros: From July 30 through August 4, Colby Rasmus went 0-for-23 at the plate. That's when he underwent ear surgery to remove a cyst in the hopes of relieving his vertigo. As a vertigo sufferer myself, I'm giving Rasmus a full pass on his slump -- I'm impressed he was even able to remain upright, let alone attempt to play baseball. Manager A.J. Hinch says that if Rasmus' Monday workout goes well, he may activate him when rosters expand on Thursday, without the need to send him on a rehab assignment.

Kansas City Royals: When Christian Colon started at second base for the Royals on Saturday instead of Raul Mondesi, manager Ned Yost was asked if the change was going to be more than just one day long, due to the youngster's .184 batting average. Yost asserted that Mondesi was "ready" and would continue to get the majority of second base starts going forward, adding he confident the hits would come. After a bases-clearing triple on Sunday from Mondesi, there's no reason to expect Yost's confidence to be lessened one bit.

Los Angeles Angels: Third baseman Yunel Escobar continues to deal with his concussion, and as of now, the earliest he might be activated in Wednesday -- and even that might be pushing it. Kaleb Cowart had been filling in at third base, and the team likes him so much that they've been starting him at second base as well, in order to get him used to the position so he can potentially stay in the lineup once Escobar is ready to return.

Los Angeles Dodgers: It was an emotional week for Clayton Kershaw as the Dodgers traded away his "personal catcher" A.J. Ellis. However, until he gets back on the mound healthy, he certainly doesn't need any catcher. Kershaw threw a successful 60-pitch bullpen session on Friday and will now pitch a simulated game on Tuesday. After that, the team will have to decide on a rehab assignment for their ace, or more simulated sessions until they feel he's ready to go. Stay tuned.

Miami Marlins: A blister caused Andrew Cashner to be scratched from his scheduled start Sunday, but the Marlins are confident he'll be back on the mound no later than his next scheduled turn, Friday against the Indians. Manager Don Mattingly said that "I don't expect for him to miss another start. It could be earlier than (Friday), but we are lined up to stay on turn. He's doing better... If we expected this to be longer than this, we would have DL'd him."

Milwaukee Brewers: Outfielder Lewis Brinson is tearing up Triple-A, with a .397 batting average, four home runs and 17 RBI in 18 games with Colorado Springs. That's making the Brewers very happy, since Brinson was part of the return package in the deal that sent Jonathan Lucroy to Texas. Milwaukee hasn't yet decided whether or not Brinson will be among the September callups, but if he is, it will be interesting to see some early competition between the 22-year-old and Keon Broxton for a potential 2017 starting job.

Minnesota Twins: In a word, ouch! After an outfield collision on the first pitch of Sunday's game, Danny Santana is headed to the disabled list with a shoulder sprain. Robbie Grossman survived the incident relatively unscathed. Logan Schafer was recalled from the minors to provide some outfield depth on the roster. Eddie Rosario should see an uptick in playing time as a result of this injury.

New York Mets: Are there any healthy players left on the Mets? With Neil Walker (back) and Yoenis Cespedes (quad) already sitting out Sunday's game in the hopes that a day off will stave off the need for any long-term absences, Asdrubal Cabrera got hurt in a first-base collision. The shortstop appeared to re-injure the same knee that forced him to the disabled list earlier this month. If he needs to miss time. Jose Reyes could move to shortstop, with Wilmer Flores, Kelly Johnson and T.J. Rivera sharing time at the hot corner.

New York Yankees: Ronald Torreyes is in the middle of a five-game hitting streak, where he's hit .500, including four extra-base hits. That's why manager Joe Girardi has been going with the hot hand at the hot corner, and Chase Headley has been left on the bench. However, Girardi says Headley has nothing to worry about. "Chase is going to be back in there next week," Girardi said on Sunday. "(It's) more about what Torreyes has been doing, how well he's been playing."

Oakland Athletics: When rosters expand in a few days, expect right-handed starter Jharel Cotton. He's gone 3-1 with a .195 batting average against in five starts at Triple-A Nashville since coming over in the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick trade with the Dodgers. Other pitchers expected to also join the A's for the last month of the season include Raul Alcantara and Daniel Mengden, although with the Sounds in the minor-league playoffs, it's unclear when all these extra arms will get the call.

Philadelphia Phillies: Although the Phillies were certainly willing to part ways with Jeremy Hellickson prior to the end of the season, he's going to remain with the team the rest of the way. Reports have Hellickson being claimed on waivers by an unknown team, but a deal was not able to be worked out. As a result, Philadelphia pulled the pitcher back, and cannot trade him to any other club.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Ivan Nova threw a second consecutive quality start on Sunday, improving to 4-0 since joining the Pirates. The win didn't come without some concern though, as the pitcher reported feeling hamstring discomfort and had to be pulled after six innings. However, Nova doesn't think the injury will cause him to miss his next turn in the rotation against Milwaukee.

St. Louis Cardinals: Mike Leake continues to struggle with what has been diagnosed as shingles -- an illness that forced him to miss his scheduled Saturday start. It remains unclear when Leake might pitch again and he won't travel with the team to Milwaukee for the start of their road trip to avoid potential spread of the infection. The team announced Monday morning that they have placed Leake on the disabled list, as he'll need ample time to rebuild his stamina once he does get a clean bill of health.

San Diego Padres: We're not sure what kind of magical spell Oswaldo Arcia has over major-league general managers, but the outfielder has now joined his fourth different club of the season. San Diego claimed Arcia off waivers and immediately inserted him into their starting lineup on Saturday and he went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. On Sunday, Arcia was on the bench and Alexei Ramirez started in right field for the first time in his career, his first outfield appearance of any kind since his rookie season (2008). Would you like to start for the Padres? Contact Andy Green. He may still be looking.

San Francisco Giants: The weekend series for the Giants had a noticeable lack of Hunter Pence in the lineup. The outfielder sat out the series against the Braves with tightness in his hamstring. However, an MRI gave manager Bruce Bochy reason for optimism, and he believes he'll be able to put the outfielder's name on his lineup card when his team faces the Diamondbacks starting on Tuesday.

Seattle Mariners: Nori Aoki had been hitting .338 for the month of August, primarily out of the leadoff spot, so it was a bit stunning to learn that the team was sending the outfielder down to Triple-A on Friday. However, a closer look at the team's schedule shows six games in ten days against left-handed starters, games in which Aoki typically sits. Add to that an over-taxed bullpen and an all-but-guaranteed return to Seattle for Aoki when rosters expand on Thursday, and the decision isn't nearly as drastic as it may have initially seemed.

Tampa Bay Rays: Seven seasons, a .245 batting average, 55 home runs and a 23 percent strikeout rate - that's all the patience Tampa Bay had for Desmond Jennings. The former top prospect for the Rays has been hurt for much of 2016 and has been given his release by the club. "It was time," manager Kevin Cash said. "Best for him, best for us, going forward... It's unfortunate it just didn't work out."

Texas Rangers: Fantasy owners can forget about getting Shin-Soo Choo back this season, but the outfielder isn't ready to stick a fork in 2016 just yet. After surgery to fix a fractured left forearm on August 17, the earliest realistic return date for Choo is October 12. The ALCS is set to begin on October 14, so should the Rangers still be alive, potentially, Choo's season could be as well.

Toronto Blue Jays: The team traded for Dioner Navarro to back up Russell Martin behind the plate for the rest of the season. With R.A. Dickey having pitched on Sunday, they won't need knuckleball-catching specialist Josh Thole until September 2. As a result, the team has designated Thole for assignment and have to hope he clears waivers in order for them to add him back to the roster once rosters expand on Thursday. If not, Dickey's next start could be very interesting.

Washington Nationals: Mat Latos last pitched in the majors on June 7, for the Chicago White Sox, getting torched by the Nationals. Nevertheless, Washington must have seen something they liked, because they subsequently gave him a minor league deal in July. Latos had the right to opt out of his contract today, but has agreed to remain in the organization after being promised a promotion shortly after rosters expand.