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Sunday 25th Feb 2018

It is not that I look for a theme from week-to-week but this week seemed another one of those rounds of reclamation, with a bunch of familiar names coming back for another bash at the Show.

However, there was also one premiere promotion, that of the Rangers' Rougned Odor, who is filling in for Donnie Murphy, who is filling in for Jurickson Profar, who replaced Ian Kinsler. This is the kid who last year, at 19, hit .305-5-59 at Myrtle Beach, and then moved up to Double-A Frisco, where over 30 games he hit .306-6-19. Compare that to the .279-6-17 he is hitting this year over 32 games at the same level, and it seems safe to say the youngster can handle himself at that level. This is a jump for Odor, but Texas is pretty good at picking players of his ilk, and moving them forth at the right time. Odor is more than worth a gamble here, even knowing there could be pending position battles on the horizon.

Pittsburgh, sitting on Gregory Polanco, promoted Jaff Decker, acquired from the Padres during the off-season. Decker, a #1 selection of the Friars in 2008, has pretty much stalled, however, since his .236-9-92 of 2011, which also produced a solid .373 OBP (103 walks to 145 whiffs, 15 steals and 29 doubles). Decker did get 13 games of Petco attention last year (.154-1-2), but that was apparently inconsequential enough for San Diego to swap him. On a pretty good and young Pirates team, he is probably no better than a spare part, albeit an intriguing one.

I have been a David Phelps fan since his debut in the bigs in 2012, and though he has indeed been up and down (194 strikeouts over 204.3 innings with a pretty good 1.293 WHIP), Phelps does well enough with the strikeouts-to-walks (81 free passes) but homers (25) are mostly his bane. Since the Yankees' rotation is limping with both Michael Pineda and C.C. Sabathia on the DL, Phelps has greatness, if not opportunity, thrown upon him. He is a totally fine risk in an AL format, and in a deeper mixed league could even be of some use.

I truly wondered why the Giants picked up Tyler Colvin, he of the Saberhagenmetric powers numbers of 20 homers in 2010, six in 2011, 18 in 2012, then three last year. The Giants have--err had--Brandon Belt, with Mike Morse and Buster Posey each able to cover first. So, Belt gets hurt, and Colvin becomes useful as a left-handed outfield/first base option in a park with a short wall to right. And, it isn't like I am superstitious, but, it is an even year.

In a deeper league, Lucas Duda could well still be floating around in the free agent pool. He is the first baseman in New York now, with Ike Davis in Pittsburgh and Josh Satin now sent down. Duda has hit 15 homers in each of the past two seasons, and at present has a more than respectable .260-4-15 line.

As for Davis, he has been hot, posting a .375-0-3 line over the last couple of weeks, and he has five walks to seven whiffs. Like Duda, Davis has worked himself into full-time play. I confess, however, I cannot be an objective judge, having spent $25 on the guy last year and picked him in another league. Not to mention making him my #1 pick in my long-term keeper Strat-O-Matic following his rookie year. Meaning you are on your own.

I don't remember Efren Navarro playing in the Majors, but apparently the Angels outfielder did scrape together a few at-bats. Navarro, 27, actually has some pretty good minor league numbers with a .296-42-420 basic line, and he had a pretty good .360 minor league OBP that mostly took a hit after he reached Triple-A three years ago. But, this year he has 18 walks to 21 whiffs (146 to 247 previously), a seemingly nice improvement. He is a left-handed first base/outfield option (is another theme revealing itself?), and Los Angeles of the American League is thin at both locations. The problem is Navarro does not have a ton of power, nor is he a killer base stealer. He does have some gaps pop (208 doubles), but I would not count on a long term in Anaheim.

Chris Parmelee, come on down. Left-handed. First base/outfield. Strikes out too much. Pass.

If you are in a deep AL league and need some catching help, Steve Clevenger of the Orioles will be getting more at-bats with Matt Wieters hurting. In fact, Wieters may not be able to catch for awhile with a bad arm (talk is he may be able to return to DH). Clevenger is hitting .256-0-5 over 13 games.

Finally, Reid Brignac, Tampa Bay's second-round selection in 2004, is now back up with the Phillies, his third team since the Rays gave up on him in early 2013, making the utility man a "player to be named later." Then, Brignac went to the Yankees (.114-0-0 last year over 44 at-bats, with one walk) and he is now with the Phils. He is one of those guys that might string together a solid 35 games in the Majors, at some point. However, I have no illusions he will do it now.

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