Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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AL Potential Callups

Sunday, August 16, 2009


No fancy intro this time. This week's two columns focus strictly on potential September callups.

Maybe some advertising instead: I'm restoring the rosters over on the NBCSports.com blog. Also, I'm regularly trying to figure out how to express my thoughts in no more than 140 characters over at twitter.

American League September Callups

Baltimore - The Orioles have already promoted Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz, so there's nothing much else to get excited about here. Left-hander Troy Patton has flopped since his midseason promotion to Triple-A (1-3, 6.45 ERA), and fellow 23-year-old Jake Arrieta hasn't done a whole lot better (4-5, 4.74 ERA). It would be nice to see Kam Mickolio get a lengthy look in a setup role, but it's doubtful that he'll be worth using in AL-only leagues. … It'll be interesting to see what the Orioles do for position player callups, considering that not one hitter in either Triple- or Double-A is currently on the 40-man roster. Second baseman Justin Turner and outfielder Jeff Fiorentino have earned promotions, but there won't be much for either to do. First baseman Brandon Snyder's OPS has fallen from 1018 in Double-A to 721 in Triple-A, so he's not ready for a shot just yet. … Third base is the one spot at which the Orioles should be holding an open audition, but the only alternative to Melvin Mora and Ty Wigginton is the recently acquired Josh Bell. Still, Bell has been red hot since being picked up for George Sherrill, hitting .462/.548/.769 through his first eight games in Double-A. It remains quite unlikely that we'll see him next month, but I would have thought there was no chance two weeks ago. … Rhyne Hughes, who was just acquired Saturday as the PTBN for Gregg Zaun, may get a look if either Aubrey Huff or Wigginton is moved in a deadline deal. He's a strong defensive first baseman, and he's hit .313/.361/.533 since moving up to Triple-A. He does strike out too much to hit for average in the majors.

Boston - Besides Michael Bowden and Josh Reddick, who was just sent down Saturday, it will probably be mostly veterans called up by the Red Sox. Chris Duncan, Chris Carter and Aaron Bates will be added as bench bats, while Dusty Brown will probably be the third catcher. Javier Lopez and Hunter Jones can function as extra lefties in the pen. Marcus McBeth is another likely to return. … Bowden figures to serve as a reliever after being bypassed in favor of Junichi Tazawa last week. If the Red Sox get both Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka back, that'd leave Bowden eighth on the SP depth chart. More than any callups, the Red Sox will be looking for players returning from injury to provide a boost next month.

Chicago - The big decision for the White Sox will be whether to call up Tyler Flowers, who has hit .292/.354/.444 in 72 at-bats since a promotion to Triple-A. Before that, he was at .305/.449/.556 in 243 at-bats in Double-A. He would have been more useful before the Alex Rios pickup provided another right-handed hitter. As is, the White Sox can already sit Jim Thome when they want to and they're probably not going to trust Flowers to step in behind the plate just yet. It seems the only way he'd have any fantasy value is if Thome required a DL stint. … Freddy Garcia won't have to wait until September for his callup, but when he's installed as the fifth starter on Tuesday, he'll be a weak option in AL-only leagues. … Josh Fields will be brought back for what may be his last stint in a White Sox uniform. Also, Jhonny Nunez, Carlos Torres and Wes Whisler could join the pen. Whisler is the only lefty among the 26 pitchers in Double- and Triple-A for the White Sox.

Cleveland - We're still waiting on Matt LaPorta. He's hitting .306/.387/.544 with 16 homers in 327 at-bats for Triple-A Columbus, but because he's still working on his defense, the Indians have been slow to give him another chance. Once it comes, he'll likely be the regular first baseman. It's possible that he'll have some value in mixed leagues. … Jake Westbrook's setback makes it more likely that Carlos Carrasco or Hector Rondon will get starts in September. Rondon would be the more intriguing callup from a fantasy perspective, but he's just 21 and the Indians may decide to play it safe and shut him down for the final month. Carrasco is 3-0 with a 4.29 ERA and a 21/3 K/BB ratio in 21 innings for Columbus. He'd be worth having stashed away in AL-only leagues if added. … The next most interesting possibilities are two of the prospects who joined Carrasco in coming over in the Cliff Lee deal: Lou Marson and Jason Donald. Marson is a better alternative to Kelly Shoppach than either Chris Gimenez or Wyatt Toregas. Donald is still working his way back from knee surgery, so how he performs over the next couple of weeks could determine if he's added. … Center fielder Mickey Brantley would be an option if Grady Sizemore chooses to undergo surgery, but he hasn't really earned it with his Triple-A play. … Top prospect Carlos Santana isn't a major league catcher just yet and likely will have to wait.


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Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot



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