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Astros Claim Thames

Astros claim OFer Eric Thames off waivers from Baltimore and release Hector Ambriz.

Thearon W. Henderson

The Astros claimed 26 year old outfielder Eric Thames off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.  He will report to Oklahoma City, which, as you know, is in a playoff series.  Reliever Hector Ambriz was designated for assignment to make room for Thames.

Thames has some limited experience in the major leagues with Seattle and Toronto (684 PA, .250, .296, .431, .727 OPS).  As this article says, Thames can "blast a HR out of anywhere," but he struggles with strike outs. I wouldn't be surprised to see Thames in Houston after the OKC playoffs are done.

Thames, a LHB, has shown some power against RHPs in the minors, with a career minor league line of .323, .400, .535 for a .935 OPS with a .212 ISO, which might make him a viable platoon option for the ML team.

What kind of help might he be in Oklahoma City for the playoffs?  He had a .384 wOBA and a 129 wRC+ for the Mariners' PCL affiliate this year.  Probably helpful.

This waiver claim isn't a big deal, but it might be a useful gamble on a hitter who has raw power.

Thames' fangraphs player page is here.  And minor league splits at minor league central are here.