On Wednesday/Thursday, the first wave of minor league fixes were recalled to help address their parent clubs' issues. The trickle began when the Cleveland Indians recalled OF/DH Matt LaPorta last week. Now the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles have decided to explore the most cost effective way teams can address their clubs' weaknesses.
OF Gerardo Parra, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks recalled him from AA Mobile and sat the struggling Chris Young. New manager A.J. Hinch has said Parra is going to be regularly in a four-headed outfield.
The Diamondbacks' major problem on offense is its reliance on the Three True Outcomes - Walks, Homeruns and Strikeouts. Unfortunately, there are too many of the last kind and not enough of the first one. Whatever lack of power Parra has, he does make contact and appears to be the kind of small ball player who has come into vogue in baseball.
I worry about the jump from AA to the majors, though, as the Diamondbacks' minor leaguers hit in favorable environments. As a result, their stats are inflated when they arrive and then appear to struggle in the majors relative to their minor league careers. Parra's minor league power is in the high single digit area.
3B Mat Gamel, Milwaukee Brewers: The lefty masher looks like the perfect complement to 3B Bill Hall who struggles against right-handed pitching, and can provide lefty pop off the bench. Gamel's defensive reputation, though, seems to preclude a straight platoon split at the hot corner and augers for more late-inning Abs than any prospect maven would like to see.
In his defense, his bat is ready, and he doesn't have anything to learn in that regard. If he can hit in a part-time role, there is no reason to believe the Brewers will send him back to the minors especially with inter-league play kicking off next weekend and resuming in full a couple weeks after that. The fact the Brewers recalled him a week prior to the start of any inter-league games signals he is up for good.
OF Nolan Reimold, Baltimore Orioles: The 25-year-old outfielder just mashed AAA to the tune of 394/485/783 while playing his home games in one of the worst hitter's park in all the minor leagues. Despite that, Reimold hit better at home (394/524/818) than on the road (395/466/711). He did play nearly twice as many games on the road, though, so that split may have reverted to a more expected result.
The Baltimore Orioles gain nothing by not giving Reimold a full-time shot. Reimold is nearing his peak years and will be on the wrong side of 30 if he sticks long enough to hit free agency. The issue is the abundance of similar players currently on the Orioles roster (Luke Scott and Ty Wigginton).
Of the three, I like Reimold's chances to make the biggest mixed league contributions as his power/speed combo won't be inhibited as much by part-time work (Gamel) or empty calorie production (Parra). I would not use a waiver claim on any in a mixed league. Assuming David Price, Matt Wieters and Tommy Hanson are already available/rostered, I would use a waiver claim in NL- and AL-Only leagues