September Call-Ups

It is that time of year again, college football September call-up season. For those who are unclear or just need a refresher, teams are allowed to expand their playable MLB roster from the 25-man active roster, to the entire 40-man roster. This is essentially up to 15 extra players that are eligible for a MLB game.

For many teams, it is a good chance to look at some of their top prospects who may be with the big league club next season. For example, Craig Kimbrel was a September call-up in 2010. He wound up playing a pretty important role in the playoffs when Billy Wagner injured his left oblique. So, lets take a look at who is currently on the 40-man roster (not currently on the 25-man) and whether or not any other call ups are possible.

Pitchers Catchers Infield Outfield
Brandon Beachy* J.C. Boscan Andrelton Simmons* Jose Constanza
Erik Cordier Jack Wilson* Matt Diaz*
Randall Delgado
Robert Fish*
Cory Gearrin
Jair Jurrjens*
Ben Sheets*
Julio Teheran
Anthony Varvaro

* = currently on the 15-day DL

So, for those counting, the Braves currently have 39 of their 40 roster spots filled. If they wished, they can always add another player, potentially more, to the roster. I’ll get into that later, for now well talk about who is currently on the roster.

First, let’s get the group of players who will not play another major league game this year due to injury. This group is players like Brandon Beachy (TJ), Robert Fish (hasn’t pitched all year) and Matt Diaz (thumb surgery). None of these players will be playing again this season.

Second, here is a group of players who are currently injured but are expected to play again or at least be healthy in the near future. Andrelton Simmons top this list because of how valuable he was pre-injury. The latest word is he should be ready to return sometime during the second week of September. Ben Sheets should also be making his return from the DL around that time. Sheets, who had shoulder inflammation and “dead body”, could return to the rotation in place of Tommy Hanson, or be moved to the bullpen. Jack Wilson who has been injured since late July had a target to return September 1. I do not know how he has progressed, but he will be another solid bat glove option off the bench. Finally, Jair Jurrjens. Last I heard he was still injured. I almost put him in the “players who will not play another major league game this season” group, but I decided to give him at least a ray of hope. I really don’t know how he will be used if at all. He may even not be called up.

Next are the two position players. Catcher J.C. Boscan will only be used in an emergency role if Brian McCann and David Ross were somehow unavailable. I would be surprised if he gets used at all; maybe a 19 inning pinch-hit appearance. The legend himself, Jose Constanza also fits into this group. Constanza actually has some value to the team. He is probably one of the fastest, if not fastest, guys in the organization. I would expect this to be his main role, although you know Fredi will find a way to pinch-hit him. This is fine depending on the context of the situation.

Finally we have the pitchers. Varvaro and Gearrin are both right-handed arms that will take up two spots in the pen. As you know, I am a huge fan of Gearrin as a ROOGY. I think if used properly, he can be a very effective arm out of the pen. Varvaro has struggled during his time in Atlanta. I would expect him to get called up but used no more than Miguel Bautista. Randall Delgado will also make his return to Atlanta. He struggled for most of the season at the major league level posting a 4.42 ERA and 4.15 FIP. While ee definitely showed signs of his youth, he also showed flashes of why he is considered a top arm in the organization. Top prospect Julio Teheran, who made one start with the Braves this year, will also be added to the roster. Both pitchers will likely be called up once the Gwinnett season ends on September 3. David Lee, of Capitol Avenue Club, proposed that Teheran should take the starts of Tommy Hanson. If not, both Teheran and Delgado would wind up being a very useful right-handed power arms, in the bullpen, down the stretch. Finally is little known Erik Cordier. He is a 26 year-old right-handed arm who struggled in Triple-A this year. He posted a K/BB of .71 in just 24.2 IP. He will most likely not appear in any games for the Braves in September.

So there is a quick blurb about everyone on the 40-man roster. As I noted before, the Braves do have a roster spot available. This will probably go to recently acquired Lyle Overbay. In 28 Triple-A plate appearances he has a slash line of .273/.429/.409. While it is not to see him getting on base and doing well, I wouldn’t put much weight if any into these numbers. My thoughts are still the same as when the team signed him, here.

Now, the Braves could make additional room if they wish. Any player on the 60-day DL does not count towards the 40-man roster. However, in order to place a player on the 60-day DL, a team’s 40-man roster must be filled. So, once the Braves add Overbay to the roster, they could then place Beachy/Fish/Diaz on the 60-day DL and open three additional spots. Potential names that could be added to fill those spots are Peter Moylan, Luis Durango and Jordan Parraz. None of these guys would play a significant bench or bullpen role, if at all.

Fredi Gonzalez has said that there will only be a handful of call-ups and none of them will be big surprises. My guess is Simmons, Wilson, Constanza, Overbay, Boscan, Sheets, Gearrin, Varvaro, Delgado and Teheran will be called up. Ten players seems closer to two handfuls, but we will wait and see.

September call-ups can be a very exciting for bad teams who get to see a glimpse of their future at the major league level. This isn;t the case for the Braves this year. While this years September call ups may be “boring”, it usually means on thing, your team already doing well and  you are headed towards the playoffs. I’ll take that any day.

Be sure to follow on Twitter: @decisions_brave

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2 Comments on “September Call-Ups”

  1. Manuel says:

    how about Ernesto Mejia, he´s killing it at AAA

    • Andrew Sisson says:

      While he did have a great season and win International League ROY, it was only his first year in Triple-A at age 26. He is not currently on the 40-man roster and I strongly believe Overbay will take the last spot. They could place one or two guys on the 60-day DL and call him up, but I think that is a long shot. It’s hard to face ML pitching for the first time in a PH role and expect him to succeed. Also, I just can’t see a situation where Fredi would blow through Ross/Johnson/Overbay as RH bench options in a game. A guy like Durango could be more valuable in a pinch running role.

      Also, Fredi saying none of the call ups being surprises also makes me believe he won’t get a call. Definitely a guy to keep in eye on in ST as a possible bench bat next season.


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