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Sunday 17th Dec 2017

Another week, another bunch of prospects and another cluster of changed uniforms, another week to try and sort through all the madness that unites Major League Baseball, Fantasy Baseball, our brains and apparently the DL.

With roster expansion just a little more than a couple of weeks ahead, who are some of the latest to change uniforms and maybe obtain some roto roster time?

Well, no team has suffered more pitching casualties and disappointments as have the Giants, who brought forth 2010 Compensation selection Kyle Crick, a right-handed hurler who had been a starter till this year when he moved to the pen in Sacramento with pretty good success. Crick was 24-29 as a starter in the Minors with 540 strikeouts over 480.6 frames, albeit with 321 walks (1.49 WHIP). He has responded well to the move to the pen, reducing his WHIP to 1.26 in the Minors this year across 29.3 innings and 1.27 over 17.3 at ATT. Crick did earn six saves out of 11 chances with the River Cats this year, though, so that looks indeed like it could be his calling, and before long at that.

Across the bay, the Athletics pinched 29-year-old 2009 pick of the Rockies Dustin Garneau ideally to be a right-handed counterpart to Bruce Maxwell. Garneau has seen 609 minor league games, posting a .255-87-354 line over seven each of minor league teams and corresponding years. Garneau walked 244 times to 379 strikeouts, good for a .343 OBP and decent .801 OPS. Oakland is indeed reinventing itself and Garneau should get a shot at lefties with his .255-0-4 line over 36 at-bats this season.

Another backstop to hit the Show this week is Jorge Alfaro, a 24-year-old native Colombian who signed with the Phils in 2010 and has posted a .262-74-360 line over 639 minor league games with a modest .321 OBP (133 walks to 710 strikeouts). Alfaro spent this season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, hitting .242-7-43 with a limp .291 OBP. If Alfaro has trouble getting on base at High-A, he probably won't fare much better a level up, at least for awhile.

Houston has brought forth a pretty good cluster of prospects over the past few years and J.D. Davis, a third-round pick out of Cal-State Fullerton in 2014, is the latest. A third sacker, Davis has some pretty good pop with a .282-88-312 line with an .862 OPS over 422 games. Davis is batting .282-26-78 this year split between Corpus Christi and Fresno. The big issue is where does the kid play?

Toronto advanced a 27-year-old 29th round pick in 2011 in Taylor Cole, who could well step into the rotation with Aaron Sanchez still blistering on the sidelines. Cole posted a 33-40, 3.56 line over 635 innings and 127 starts. He has 572 strikeouts with 218 walks which contribute to a 1.31 WHIP. The righty has spent most of this year on the DL but has shot up through three levels over just nine games, four starts, and 12.3 innings. This is likely a spot start, but you just never know. 

The Nationals' Erick Fedde was the team's first round selection in 2014 out of Nevada Las Vegas. Fedde has twirled 262.3 innings in the Minors since signing, notching a 17-12, 3.36 line with a 1.21 WHIP that included 251 strikeouts and just one Intentional Walk. Fedde made seven starts at Double-A before moving up to Triple-A Syracuse with a cumulative line of 4-4, 3.72 over 77.3 innings with 69 strikeouts. He made his second start on Sunday, going 5.3 innings, allowing eight hits and four runs, whiffing seven and gaining his first win. In a deep NL format, Fedde could be a help and he is certainly worth keeping on the radar for the future.

Some golden oldies, relatively speaking, changed uniforms this past week, so let's take a look at a couple of these before we close, starting with Sean Rodriguez, whom the Braves swapped to the Pirates. Kind of the everyman/every-position player, Rodriguez has played second, third, and the outfield this year and qualified all over the place to finish last season. Rodriguez homered on Sunday to help his new team win, and despite his paltry .179-3-4 line this year, he's just the kind of guy who can get red hot for a couple of weeks, especially when thrust in a new environment. 

The Dodgers got Tony Cingrani from the Reds in exchange for Scott Van Slyke in a deal that is not much of one, yet one that involves a couple of role players I like a lot. Cingrani is pretty much a situational lefty, and Van Slyke is a platoon against lefties, so there is a kind of Zen to the deal. Neither is of any value in anything save the deepest of leagues. However, in a sim game like Strat-O-Matic with usage rules, both players are a godsend. We all play a lot of different formats. Pick your players accordingly.

You can follow me @lawrmichaels and listen to the Tout Wars Hour every Thursday from 9-11 PM ET (6-8 PT) on the FNTSY Sports Network.



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