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Wednesday 21st Feb 2018

Here we go into the final month of the season, the traditional end of summer with Labor Day, and of course, roster expansion. So, first off, I have to wish you all the best of holidays, be you tending to food on the bbq, hanging with friends or family away, or just sitting at home watching baseball or movies or whatever makes you happy.

With both the Giants and the Athletics in town the first of this week, I will get some time at the yard as the Angels and Diamondbacks start the week in the bay area, but I have to start this week with the promotion--and debut--of the Rangers Jurickson Profar. What can we say about the kid who debuted yesterday, cracking a homer his first major league swing, then notching a double his second at-bat. Profar, just 19 (and almost one-half) scored #1 in this year's Top 250 Prospect List and though the word was the young middle infielder's advancement was to augment the bench, if he hits like he did in his first game, the Rangers will simply have to find regular playing time for him. If nothing else, you want him on your reserve list for the future.

Before we jump to a cluster of call-ups, one arm you might want to review is that of the Rockies Jhoulys Chacin. Chacin, coming off two pretty good seasons as a key cog in the Colorado rotation, was beyond terrible over five starts (0-3, 7.30) and 24.2 innings this year, but after a demotion, and more important time on the DL with a bad arm, Chacin has come back strong, going 2-1, 1.50 over three starts and 18 innings. If you need a stretch starter Chacin could be on the waiver wire, or might even be available from another team on the cheap based upon his awful first half numbers and disposition.

Back to the prospect, the Astros called up Jimmy Paredes, a 23-year old who looked like first the next third sacker (Paredes played 44 games there at Minute Maid last year). Going into 2012 it was suggested Paredes could become the shortstop, and then the second sacker, but instead the Stros sent him down to play the outfield. The Dominican did log 102 games at second, but another 21 in the outfield, and for now has been installed in right field for Houston. As a minor leaguer Paredes logged .289-36-239 numbers, with 115 doubles and 150 swipes. The down side is Paredes can be a free swinger (86 walks to 386 whiffs) but he will get a chance and does have the contact/speed game on his side. And, well, Houston has nothing to lose by giving Paredes a shot.

The Phils brought forth pitcher Tyler Cloyd, a 18th round selection of the team in 2008, who slowly moved up the ranks of the minors culminating with a year started at AA Reading (3-0, 1.80) and then finished up at Lehigh Valley (12-1, 2.35) putting together a fine year of 15-1, 2.26, with career totals of 46-22, 3.27 over 632.2 innings (92 starts, 135 total appearances). Cloyd did pretty well striking out 509, and allowed 603 hits, but also had two interesting totals of just 144 walks, and just 51 homers. It is hard to tell if Cloyd has what it takes to keep it going in the Phillies starting rotation, but he certainly can pitch. And, as with all the names on today's list if you need an end of season boost and gamble, well, there you go.

The Cards promoted their 21st round pick of 2009--plucked from obscure Cowley Community College in Arkansas City--Trevor Rosenthal. With two years of minor league service, primarily as a starter, Rosenthal is 22-14, 3.57 over 285.1 innings, with just 237 hits allowed. Further, Rosenthal has 293 strikeouts to 98 walks (1.174 WHIP) and just 15 big flies allowed. Pushing for the post season, Rosenthal is probably not going to get a start (his five appearances so far are all in relief), and more to the point with names like Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller as the hot young arms, Rosenthal is sort of overshadowed. That makes him the best kind of quiet acquisition. Further, I really like his potential as a set up guy of the best order.

Another middle relief arm worth a look belongs to the Cardinals chief NL rivals, the Cubs, in Jeff Beliveau. Picked in the 18th round in 2008 by the North Siders, Beliveau has 165 minor league appearances in relief (14 as a starter) over which he has posted 21-14, 2.86 numbers, with 407 strikeouts over 314.2 innings. The lefty allowed 244 hits and 140 walks (1.220 WHIP) over that span, all solid numbers, and posted ten saves over 49 finished games. The 25-year old is probably not a closer in waiting, but he has pretty good control and like Rosenthal could be a good under-the-radar pick who can eat some innings and get some whiffs and even bag a win or two.

The Twins Chris Parmelee was the team's first round pick in 2006, having since produced .273-91-419 with a solid .365 OBP and .820 SLG over 715 games. Last year, while Justin Morneau was down, Parmelee hit a solid .335-4-14 over 21 games, but struggled this season during his big league time (.218-3-9 over 44 games). Still, at New Britain this season, Parmelee hit .338-17-49 over 64 games with a terrific 51 walks to 52 strikeouts. Morneau is signed through next season, but the Twins, as with so many other squads, need to figure out a healthy path to the future. Parmelee, 24, has to figure in those plans, and could get some regular at-bats the last month of the season and give some pop.

The Tigers have 21-year old Venezuelan Avisail Garcia who seems like a potential big time slugger with a 6'4", 240 pound frame. Garcia has minor league numbers of .281-37-242, with 73 doubles, and an amazing 72 swipes: a lot for a big guy. Unfortunately Garcia is also a strikeout machine, having whiffed 451 times, or one of every four at-bats, while obtaining just 79 free passes. I fear he is one of those Carlos Peguero guys, though, who simply won't show enough power at the big league level to merit a roster spot.

The Pirates have some interesting things going, and though Chase d'Arnaud does not look like any kind of shortstop of the future, Brock Holt, a 9th round pick of the Bucs in 2009 out of Rice, could well be. Holt is .317-11-150 over 371 minor league games, with 87 doubles, 49 swipes, and a good 144 walks to 206 whiffs (.381 OBP). Holt has played 107 games at short this year (98 at Altoona, and nine at Indianapolis) and at 24-years old, looks to be a good part of the Pittsburgh future.

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