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Pirates Should Recall Jake Fox

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Mar 4, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Anthony Gose (right) slides under the tag by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jake Fox (41) during the game at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Mar 4, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Anthony Gose (right) slides under the tag by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jake Fox (41) during the game at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

David on Twitter earlier today:

Time to send Harrison down & bring Jake Fox up. Fox power bat off bench. Pedro gonna play everyday. Navarro/Harrison duplicates.

I've been thinking for a few days about doing a post about Fox. He currently has a 1.077 OPS at Indianapolis. And yes, that's in a small sample size, but Fox looked like a potentially useful bench bat even when he was signed. And frankly, the Pirates should be trying anything they can to get offense right now. As David notes, there isn't any good reason to carry both Yamaico Navarro and Josh Harrison, with Pedro Alvarez currently hitting well.

Fox can provide home-run power in a pinch-hitting role. Also, Fox's defense behind the plate is supposed to be terrible, but I'm not sure there would be much to be lost by trying him there once or twice a week, as he would be the Pirates' best chance to get offense out of the catcher position. (Although if Jose Morales continues to hit reasonably well at Indianapolis and Rod Barajas continues to flounder, Morales would probably be a better four-days-a-week type of option, due to his defense.)

We shouldn't have any illusions about Fox's real skill level -- he's a minor-league veteran for a reason. But ZiPS projected he'd hit .256/.316/.444 this season, and the Pirates can use a hitter like that.