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Orelvis On Tour With Toronto or Brew On Black

Astros BY Joey Loperfido looks like you finally found a place to edit. Someone who took forever, right? Or maybe I’ve just been in the sun too long these past few days. Time for a bit of Warps.

Athletics 3B Armando Alvarez was called up to replace 3B Abraham Toro. He’s 29 years old, so it’s unlikely he’ll be a core piece of Oakland’s build, but I think he’s at least got a chance to stay in Joey Meneses’ shoes. His past three seasons have seen him post impressive wRC+ scores of 117 in 2022, 125 in 2023, and 132 in 2024, all in Triple-A as he waits for a big league opportunity with the Yankees, Giants and Athletics. Unlike Meneses and most of these late-round DH types, Alvarez offers solid defense at the hot corner. In his last 20 games, he is hitting .388/.456/.663 with five home runs and one stolen base. If not now, when?

Diamondbacks C Gabriel Moreno is on IL because of a sprained left thumb: an important digit that is contested by everyone but especially by catchers. The club have missed Jose Herrera for now, but if Moreno ends up needing some time to recover, we should be looking C Adrian Del Castillo (24, AAA), who has been excellent all season but has stepped it up another notch in his last 13 games, slashing .333/.483/.711 with 12 walks, seven strikeouts and four home runs. Even if Moreno is out of order, Del Castillo has earned looks with his solid plate ability and a .328/.397/.611 slash line and 14 home runs in 67 games.

Yankees C Agustin Ramirez (22, AAA) was promoted to Triple-A as Ben Rice left New York. If he holds his own, I think Ramirez will be shockingly high on the “real baseball” list heading into 2025. Probably a top 50 fantasy prospect and all around. Unless he’s hot enough to force a promotion and heat up his eligibility. I suspect that his parties would be happy anyway.

As in the case with Ramirez and Rice, Diamondbacks C Caleb Roberts (24, AA) will likely be promoted to Triple-A once Del Castillo heads to the majors. A powerful slugger, his season-long wRC+ of 142 is impressive, but Roberts has been much better of late, slashing .292/.370/.688 with five home runs over his last 13 games.

Blue Jays 3B Orelvis Martinez he was reinstated this week and started in second place, where the team was hiding 1B Spencer Horwitz a few weeks ago. Horwitz is hitting well on a roster where runs have been scarce, so we’ll see some juggling from Toronto this month as they figure out their fate near the deadline. It’s easy for me to sit here and say they shouldn’t have called up Martinez if they weren’t going to play him every day, but I also realize it’s complicated. If both of these guys end up being regular second basemen, I’ll be happy with how we got there.

Another goalscorer looking for a gig, Brewers 1B Tyler Black he was reinstated this week and made two starts, once at DH and once at first. Rhys Hoskins hasn’t been great, and Black has plate skills, so I’m taking a wait-and-see approach here when possible. It’s easy for me to fall asleep when a guy is called to the bench, but it pays to stay alert.

Twins 2B Brooks Lee he’s back on the field and playing after missing most of the first half, knocking on the door to join a deep major league infield with a weak spot at second base. Austin Martin has played well all season and started in second place on Friday night. If the team thinks they can figure that out on the fly, Lee may have to wait a little longer. If Martin can’t do it, Lee looks ready.

One of baseball’s hottest hitters right now is a 19th round pick out of Grambling State in 2022. In his last month (24 games since May 21), Astros C John Garcia (23, A+) is hitting .370/.438/.710 with eight home runs and three stolen bases. I know everyone’s favorite thing is when Houston finds value deep in the draft, pick 583 this time, but it’s nice to see a guy build on a name guy. Garcia hit .198 in 73 Low-A games last year, with some content.

Just an anecdotal thought on the way out: I think offense closes the gap in depth. Weapons were dominant in the first season, but many of them are getting damaged, and with summer starting around the country, it feels like only a matter of time before the game fixes itself. It feels like it’s happening as I write considering the Guardians OF Daniel Schneeman’s recent lefty-to-lefty bomb against Genesis Cabrera, who came into the bat thinking the only thing about Schneeman was the way he walked.

Thanks for reading!

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