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Thursday 23rd Nov 2017

The Rotobituary of the week belongs to former Card and Red Sox Allen Craig, unceremoniously released, and now free to sign with whomever will have him.

But, on this eve of our nation's birthday, a week before the All-Star break, there are some players out there worth a hit, or perhaps a miss as we shore up our rosters and prepare for the dog days and perhaps a run at the pennant.

If you are in an AL-only format, you have to drop a bid on Adeiny Hechavarria, the new Rays and former Marlins shortstop who has banged it out, hitting .421 his first week with his new team, bringing his season line to .310-1-9. Hechavarria is not any kind of monster hitting threat, but if he plays every day, and you are in a deep league, he is certainly worth the gambit for the at-bats and potential fallout.

And, while we are talking about weak hitting shortstops who might be worthy of at least a look, the Royals' Alcides Escobar, surely one of the worst hitters in the Majors this year, has been red hot the past three weeks, hitting .365-1-8 with 27 hits over 74 at-bats. Escobar does indeed play daily and though he is not much of a power threat, he does have a career average of .259, and over the past three seasons has hit over .234, suggesting there are still hits, and maybe even some steals (he has double-digits the last seven years) out there.

The Yankees might have dispatched Miguel Andujar after just one game, whereby the 22-year-old went 3-for-4 with a homer, a steal, and a walk, but we can likely expect the third sacker back before too long. Andujar was jumped from Double-A Trenton, where he was hitting .312-7-52, and then moved up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for a week before the Yanks summoned, and the thought is for the infielder to get everyday at-bats at Triple-A for now. Now should not last a long time, however.

Boog Powell at least has a name to live up to, although Lord Zola corrected my thinking that Powell was the progeny of the former Oriole with the same name. This Powell was drafted by the Athletics in the 20th round of 2012, then swapped to the Rays as part of the Ben Zobrist deal, then from the Rays to the Mariners as part of the Brad Miller deal last year. Powell is hitting .331-3-20 with nine swipes and a strong .426 OBP, with 24 walks to 16 whiffs and could earn some playing time on a team moving towards youth.

If you are looking for a temporary closer in San Francisco, look no further than Sam Dyson for now. For, despite his horrible numbers with Texas of 1-6, and four blown saves to go with a 10.80 ERA and 2.25 WHIP, fostered a release into free-agent purgatory for Dyson. He is 0-1 with a pair of saves with San Francisco, filling in for Mark Melancon, but apparenty the future of Hunter Strickland is clear.

Former Giants property Adalberto Mejia is 2-0, with a 0.00 ERA over two starts last week, and the 24-year-old has 503 whiffs over 586.6 innings with a 3.30 ERA and solid 1.17 WHIP. On the rag-tag Twins team of overachieving hurlers, Mejia might indeed be ready to come into his own. Certainly, I have always liked him as a prospect.

Paul Blackburn is the hurler of the week in Oakland, originally drafted by the Cubs, then swapped to the Mariners as part of the Dan Vogelbach deal, then nabbed by the Athletics in exchange for Danny Valencia. Blackburn has gone 34-23, 3.21 over 496 innings with 344 strikeouts and a 1.25 ERA. Blackburn, who turns 24 in December, has had a solid start and picked up a win for the A's early in the week. He will certainly get another start for the Oaklanders. In a deep league, with crazy pitching, not much to lose.

One final thought on George Springer, the Astros leadoff hitter who was swinging a hot stick last week, hitting .375-2-5, bringing his season totals to .287-24-52 with a .363 OBP. Now in his fourth full season, Springer is easily on a path for career highs in everything but swipes, but even there the Astro can help. If I were to target a player who will be a first rounder for the next few years, it would be Springer, so if your keeper league team is out of it, look into acquiring him for the coming season(s).

You can try to argue with me @lawrmichaels.

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