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American League

National League

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Activated LHP Joe Thatcher from the 15-day disabled list (sprained ankle). [9/12]

Make that 38 players for the resourceful Angels, who have two weeks left to complete the set and recall Jose Alvarez and Drew Rucinski. Thatcher returns to a bullpen with two other left-handed relievers, in Michael Roth and Wade LeBlanc, neither of whom is a threat to displace him on the postseason roster. The funnest tidbit about Thatcher's time with the Angels is he's recorded 10 outs in nine appearances. Leave it to Mike Scioscia to use a pitcher almost literally as a left-handed one-out guy.

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Recalled RHP Alex Colome, LHP C.J. Riefenhauser, and INF-S Nick Franklin from Triple-A Durham. [9/15]
Recalled RHP Nate Karns from Triple-A Durham. [9/12]
Signed RHP Neil Wagner to a two-year minor-league deal. [9/12]

Rays fans won't get to see the MLB postseason live this year, but they will get to see a pair of players acquired through trade now that Durham has been eliminated from the International League playoffs. Karns, the return on spring's Jose Lobaton trade, made his Tampa Bay debut over the weekend. He showed off a quality fastball-breaking ball combination. Some have pegged him as a bullpen arm due to his age, changeup, and command. Karns replaced Drew Smyly, who was shut down for the season once he reached his innings limit, in the Tampa Bay rotation.

Franklin, a piece of the David Price trade, is up for the first time since the deal. Statistically speaking, his transition to the Rays organization has been ugly. Franklin reached base less than 29 percent of the time in Durham, and struck out in 34 of his 100 at-bats. He figures to see time around the diamond, particularly at second base and left field, as the Rays prep him for a larger role next season.

Lastly, there's Wagner, recipient of a rare multi-year minor-league deal. Wagner underwent Tommy John surgery in August, meaning he'll miss most—if not all—of next season. Yes, the Rays signed him with an eye on 2016. The reason? Wagner can touch the upper-90s with his fastball and has found more success since ditching his curveball for a slider last season. Andrew Friedman has done this sign-and-wait dance before: most famously with Al Reyes, but also with Juan Carlos Oviedo and Ricky Orta. It doesn't always work—see the last two names—yet the cost is trifling and could give Tampa Bay an interesting, cheap middle-relief option in time.

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Recalled INF-R Nick Ahmed and LHP Andrew Chafin from Triple-A Reno; purchased the contract of C-R Bobby Wilson from Triple-A Reno; transferred RHP Bronson Arroyo to the 60-day disabled list (Tommy John surgery). [9/15]

A pair of questioned youngsters return for their second big-league stints about a month after their demotion. Ahmed's defensive reputation is quality, but concerns about his offensive ability have led many to project him as a utility infielder. Chafin, meanwhile, is a potential back-of-the-rotation starter if all goes well. And when it doesn't, he'll move to the bullpen as a fastball-slider lefty.

If Jordan Pacheco counts, then Wilson is the fourth catcher on the D'backs roster. You might remember him from the parts of five seasons he spent with the Angels, including 2012, when he appeared in a career-high 75 games. Wilson can't hit—not even in the minors—but he's a fine catch-and-throw type who grades well using our framing metrics. The only measure where Tuffy Gosewich is noticeably better than Wilson is in name value. Otherwise, both profile as defensive-only backstops.

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Recalled INF-S Cristhian Adames from Double-A Colorado Springs. [9/15]

What a weird season for Adames. He debuted in July, entering a game in the 10th inning yet still notching three at-bats. Adames has spent most of the time since in Triple-A, but was sent down to Colorado Springs so that he could play in the minor-league postseason. Now he's back in the majors, where he figures to back up the middle-infield spots alongside Charlie Culberson and Rafael Ynoa. Adames will need to show some of the offensive life he displayed in the PCL to avoid a future as a glove-first utility type.

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Activated LHP Paco Rodriguez from the 15-day disabled list (strained back). [9/13]
Purchased the contract of LHP Scott Elbert from Triple-A Albuquerque; designated RHP Red Patterson for assignment. [9/12]

Just like that, Don Mattingly has two new left-handed relievers to pair with J.P. Howell. Rodriguez had made 32 of his 44 seasonal appearances in the minors before straining his back. He missed a month, yet should be the second lefty by default. That's because on Sunday Elbert threw his first big-league pitch in more than two years. Why the layoff? Elbert underwent Tommy John surgery last year, and spent the time since rehabbing. It's too early to know if he'll return to his old effectiveness, but his fastball averaged about 90 mph in his first game back, as opposed to the 92-93 he averaged pre-surgery. Regardless, it's nice to see Elbert back.

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