Up today is a team-by-team look at some potential September callups. It’s a lengthy one, so let’s jump right in.
Baltimore: With Henry Urrutia struggling in Triple-A and essentially having his 2014 campaign go down as a lost year, first baseman Christian Walker stands the Orioles’ most interesting possible callup. The 23-year-old is at .297/.387/.475 in 27 games for Triple-A Norfolk after hitting .301/.367/.516 in 95 games for Double-A Bowie earlier this year. Overall, Walker has 24 homers and 91 RBI in 467 at-bats. The Orioles would have the option of using the 2012 fourth-round pick over Steve Pearce at first base if Manny Machado (knee) remains sidelined into September. Still, the current guess is that Machado will be back for the final month, making Walker less of a sleeper. … Urrutia, for what it’s worth, has hit just .236/.258/.297 in 148 at-bats at Norfolk. … Speedster Quintin Berry figures to get the call as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, but it probably won’t be a significant enough role to give him any fantasy value.
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Boston: The Red Sox will call up plenty of interesting names, but will they find time for them? Mookie Betts will rejoin the outfield, but he probably won’t get more than a couple of starts per week unless someone gets hurt. Bryce Brentz (.245/.338/.467) and Garin Cecchini (.250/.323/.354) figure to have minimal roles off the bench, not that either really deserves more after lukewarm campaigns in Triple-A. … Catcher Blake Swihart isn’t on the 40-man yet, so he probably won’t be added. … The rotation is the more interesting topic for Boston. Anthony Ranaudo has been up and down a couple of times recently, and he seems like the best bet to get a longer look. 2011 first-round pick Matt Barnes, though, is coming on strong, with a 1.95 ERA in five starts since the break. Henry Owens, who was bumped up to Triple-A earlier this month, is the biggest talent of all, but he’ll probably have to wait until 2015 for his turn. Either Ranaudo or Barnes would be worth grabbing in AL-only leagues if given a spot.
Chicago: Marcus Semien and Matt Davidson were supposed to claim starting spots in the White Sox infield by now, but neither has met expectations at Charlotte. Davidson, the return in last winter’s Addison Reed deal, has been a bust, hitting .207/.299/.382 with 144 strikeouts in 421 at-bats. Semien hasn’t been that bad; he just hasn’t hit for average. Right now, he’s at .241/.356/.450 while playing shortstop about half of the time. If the White Sox make a change anywhere, it figures to be at second base, since Gordon Beckham is deserving of being kicked to the curb this winter anyway. However, they also have top prospect Micah Johnson as a possibility there. Semien has been the more productive player, as Johnson has hit a mediocre .276/.315/.371 since being bumped up to Triple-A. Johnson has also been a disappointment in the steal department, going 22-for-35 this year after swiping 84 bases in 110 attempts last year. Semien seems like the better bet for September to me. … Outfielder Michael Taylor also deserves some mention here, as he’s hit .331/.410/.531 since being picked up from the A’s. Alas, with Avisail Garcia back, there isn’t much room for him at the moment. Perhaps a late Alejandro De Aza deal would change that. … Erik Johnson has had a very rough go of it in Triple-A, with a 6.73 ERA and a 63/54 K/BB ratio in 105 2/3 innings since being sent down, so he shouldn’t be a factor in September.
Cleveland: After a hot start in Triple-A, Francisco Lindor has struggled since the Asdrubal Cabrera trade, a move that should have resulted in his promotion to the majors. Lindor is currently at .238/.278/.347 in 23 games in Triple-A and .269/.335/.379 for the season. The power isn’t there to make him a fantasy stud right now, so he probably wouldn’t be worth a mixed-league pickup even if the Indians decide to make him their everyday shortstop in September. Whether that’ll have happen is still uncertain, though my guess is that they will. … The other potential callup of note here is first baseman Jesus Aguilar, though his playing time will hinge on Nick Swisher’s knee. Aguilar has hit .292/.389/.476 with 15 homers in 377 at-bats for Columbus. If Swisher gets shut down, then Aguilar should be of use in AL-only leagues, at least.
Detroit: The Tigers have already had need to dip into their modest pitching reserves, and there isn’t anyone else really worth trying. Veteran lefty Duane Below might be a possibility for spot starts -- he likely would have gotten the call last week if not for an ill-timed undisclosed injury -- but ideally, the Tigers would have their rotation back in order by September. … The Tigers big offensive addition down the stretch will be the rehabbing Andy Dirks. Outfielder Tyler Collins and infielder Hernan Perez will likely return in bit roles. James McCann could be called up as a third catcher, but with a postseason spot at stake, he won’t get much of an audition to unseat Bryan Holliday on next year’s roster.
Houston: It was just 17 at-bats, but with 14 of them ending in strikeouts, there’d seem to be clear evidence that Domingo Santana isn’t ready for the majors. One wonders if the Astros will even call him back up or if they’d prefer to save the month of service time for when he’ll be useful. … The Astros will bring back Jonathan Villar, who has improved to the tune of a .262/.374/.338 line with 17 steals in 36 games in Triple-A. He and Marwin Gonzalez will probably share time at shortstop, limiting his value to AL-only leagues. … 23-year-old right-hander Nick Tropeano is the Astros minor leaguer most deserving of starts in September. He doesn’t rate with the team’s best pitching prospects, but he’s 7-5 with a 3.31 ERA and a 106/32 K/BB ratio for Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, he’s not on the 40-man, so it’s not certain he’ll get the callup.
Kansas City: The Royals will primarily call up veterans this September, with usual suspects Justin Maxwell, Johnny Giavotella and Louis Coleman leading the way. Left-hander John Lamb could be a candidate for spot starts after going 7-9 with a 3.62 ERA and a 123/61 K/BB ratio in 126 2/3 innings for Omaha, but the Royals would prefer to get through the month with their current group. If the Royals do choose to bring up any of their better pitching prospects, it will be to pitch out of the pen. Christian Binford is one possibility there.
Los Angeles: Likewise, the Angels’ callups will be guys who have already logged time with the team, peppered with a few recently acquired vets. C.J. Cron, who will probably be back before the roster expansion, has the best chance of the bunch of being useful in fantasy leagues. As for the newly acquired guys, there’s fifth-outfielder extraordinaire Tony Campana to serve as a pinch-runner, backstop John Buck as the likely third catcher and Vinnie Pestano to pitch out of the pen. The Angels also have Randy Wolf in Triple-A as a rotation fallback.
Minnesota: The Twins have been slow to give top pitching prospect Alex Meyer a chance, but indications are that it will happen in September. Meyer is 6-6 with a 3.37 ERA and a 139/60 K/BB ratio in 117 2/3 innings for Triple-A Rochester. His season high for innings pitched is 6 2/3, partly because the Twins are being careful with him but also because he’s just not very efficient with his pitches. Still, the talent is there to make him a must grab in AL-only leagues and a decent flier in mixed leagues if he gets his rotation spot. … Josmil Pinto and Aaron Hicks will be back with the Twins in September, but the question is whether the team will find significant playing time for either. Pinto has hit .285/.388/.517 with six homers in 151 at-bats since being sent down, and he’s probably more deserving of the DH gig that Kennys Vargas. Still, the Twins aren’t giving up on him as a catcher, even after extending Kurt Suzuki through 2016. Hopefully, he gets at least 3-4 starts per week, making him useful in AL-only leagues. … The rational move for the Twins would be to use Hicks as an everyday center fielder next month, with Danny Santana playing shortstop. Hicks, though, has been spending time in the corners of late, suggesting he’ll be moving around after his callup. He’s hit .307/.405/.472 in 51 games between Double- and Triple-A since being sent down, so he needs to be in the lineup somewhere. He’ll be a nice addition in AL-only leagues.
New York: After loading up with veterans at the trade deadline, the Yankees probably won’t have any room for rookie bats in their lineup next month. It would have nice to see what Robert Refsnyder (.295/.385/.471 in Triple-A) or Jose Pirela (.303/.348/.431) could have done at second base, but they’ll have to wait their turns. Perhaps Kyle Roller (.284/.380/.502) could get a look at first if Mark Teixeira gets hurt again, but even that’s a long shot. … On the pitching side, the Yankees could turn to Bryan Mitchell if needed. He just made his major league debut in relief earlier this month, but he’s back in Triple-A rotation now and he’s 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA in six starts for Scranton since moving up from Double-A.
Oakland: With Jason Hammel continuing to have a very rough time, we could see Drew Pomeranz back in Oakland’s rotation next month. The 25-year-old lefty hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last five starts for Triple-A Sacramento and is 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA and a 49/14 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings overall. He’ll be worth a mixed-league pickup if he gets another opportunity. … On offense, there’s Billy Burns, who will be a designated pinch-runner. He’s 53-for-59 stealing bases in the minors this year. Oakland’s legitimate offensive reinforcement will be Kyle Blanks, who is soon to return from the DL after missing a couple of months with a left calf strain.
Seattle: The Mariners are blessed with seven starters, with both Taijuan Walker and Erasmo Ramirez awaiting additional opportunities at Triple-A Tacoma. Either would be fine to use in mixed leagues if given a spot. Right now, it’d seem to hinge on one of the top five guys getting hurt. Of the current starters, the worse numbers over the last month belong to Chris Young, who is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA. … The Mariners will have more offensive options than they’ll know what to do with after Corey Hart and Michael Saunders come off the DL. Justin Smoak will be back in September, too, and he might get another shot at first base if Logan Morrison continues to slump.
Tampa Bay: With Drew Smyly likely to be shut down, the Rays should have opportunities available for at least one young starter next month. Unclear is who will be chosen. Nate Karns might be the favorite. He’s turned it around nicely after a rough start, going 6-2 with a 3.19 ERA in his last 10 turns. For the year, he’s struck out 142 in 131 1/3 innings. Alex Colome, who served a 50-game PED suspension at the beginning of the season, has a 3.65 ERA in 12 starts since returning. Matt Andriese has a 3.63 ERA in 22 starts for Durham. Enny Romero has a 5.00 ERA for the year, but he’s gotten better as the season has gone along. Any of the above would be worth an AL-only pickup while starting for the Rays. … Nick Franklin figures to have the biggest role of any offensive callup, but he’s hit just .156/.255/.333 in 13 games since being acquired in the David Price trade. He still figures to have AL-only value.
Texas: If there are any players left in the Rangers system worth using, one would think they’d have brought them up by now. Of course, everyone would love to see Joey Gallo, he of the 38 homers and 160 strikeouts in 395 at-bats this season. However, he’s hitting just .243 in 206 at-bats since moving up to Double-A, suggesting that he’s not ready. … Michael Choice hasn’t performed as hoped since being sent down, coming in at .246/.354/.410 in 122 at-bats for Triple-A Round Rock. Still, the Rangers will bring him back in September and should give him regular playing time. It’s not like they have anything to lose. … Corey Knebel, acquired from the Tigers in the Joakim Soria trade, should get a look as a setup man next month.
Toronto: Unless they can rally and stay in contention, the Jays figure to shut down both Marcus Stroman and Drew Hutchison next month, leaving them in need of a couple of starters. Shifting Aaron Sanchez or Kyle Drabek back to the rotation is an option, but it’d be for the best if those two finish the season in the pen. Todd Redmond would make more sense as a late-season pen-to-rotation conversion. As for callups, Sean Nolin is one candidate to start; he’s 4-4 with a 2.89 ERA and 60/27 K/BB ratio in 71 2/3 innings in 14 starts for Triple-A Buffalo. He wouldn’t be a very good bet in AL-only leagues, though. I don’t imagine that we’ll see top prospect Daniel Norris, though he’s been better than ever in two starts since moving up to Triple-A. … The Blue Jays figure to give Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar some playing time in the outfield next month, as they look to keep their options open with both Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus set for free agency. Gose should have AL-only value again. Pillar’s chance might hinge on someone ahead of him getting hurt.
Arizona: Might Archie Bradley get a look after all? It seems that he will. The 22-year-old hasn’t progressed as hoped after making a case for a roster spot out of spring training; he missed a month with a sore elbow early on and has gone 3-6 with a 4.28 ERA and a 66/37 K/BB ratio in 73 2/3 innings in the minors. However, that early elbow injury means the Diamondbacks will want him to pitch next month and build his innings count. As inconsistent as he’s been, I don’t know that he’ll be a mixed-league guy if he does get the call. The talent is there, but it doesn’t seem like he’s quite ready. He would be worth a try in NL-only leagues. … The Diamondbacks already made their big offensive September callup, promoting Jake Lamb to play third base after five games in Triple-A. They’ll recall shortstop Nick Ahmed next month, but he figures to take a backseat to the returning Chris Owings. The newly acquired Brett Jackson, former a Cubs top prospect, is on the 40-man and might be called up, but he’s hit just .210/.298/.348 in Triple-A this year and isn’t worthy of many at-bats.
Atlanta: The Braves’ most interesting September possibility right-hander Cody Martin, who has a 3.64 ERA and a 120/50 K/BB ratio in 136 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett. He looked like the top candidate to step in had the Braves decided to demote Mike Minor earlier this month, and while that didn’t materialize, it’s still possible that Martin will make some starts down the stretch. If so, he’d probably have NL-only value. … The Braves already added Phil Gosselin to challenge Tommy La Stella at second base. He was far and away Gwinnett’s best hitter this season. Christian Bethancourt will be back to serve as the third catcher, but that won’t result in much playing time. Jose Constanza, Todd Cunningham and Joey Terdoslavich will give the Braves’ additional bench options, but no one from that group stands out at all. … I don’t imagine that top prospect Jose Peraza will be called up, though he’d certainly offer a nice source of speed off the bench. He’s currently sidelined with a hip problem anyway.
Chicago: The Cubs have essentially ruled out a Kris Bryant callup, saying the 2013 first-round pick needs a full year in the minors. However, Cuban defector Jorge Soler is making quite a case for joining the team, hitting .337/.430/.692 with 12 homers in 169 at-bats. The 22-year-old is at .253/.352/.570 with five homers in 79 at-bats since moving up to Triple-A. If Soler does get the call, he’d be an intriguing flier in mixed leagues. I have no idea if he’s ready, but he’d be another explosive power source alongside Javier Baez. … Instead of promoting Soler over the weekend, the Cubs decided to try Matt Szczur, even though he was hitting just .261/.315/.312 with one homer and 30 steals in 414 at-bats for Iowa. I guess the Cubs thought it was worth giving him an audition before the better prospects emerge and his window closes. NL-only leaguers in need to steals could pick him up, though he won’t be an everyday player. … Mike Olt has hit .316/.365/.632 with seven homers in 95 at-bats since being sent down to Triple-A, which should be good enough to secure him significant playing time when he’s recalled next month. … Instead of turning to prospects for starts in September, the Cubs will likely go to Dan Straily and Felix Doubront, both of whom could be worth using in NL-only leagues.
Cincinnati: The Reds have already tried most of their Triple-A bats and found them wanting (except Kris Negron anyway… he’s been pretty good). There’s no more help on the way. Consider that just two Louisville players have more than five homers this season: journeyman Ruben Gotay has 17 (with a .750 OPS) and 29-year-old Felix Perez has 10 in his third full season with the team. … The Reds have more pitching options, though Tony Cingrani won’t be among them; he appears to be done for the season with a sore shoulder. David Holmberg was supposed to be next in line for a spot, but the 23-year-old left-hander has struggled this year, posting a 4.64 ERA with just 50 strikeouts and 113 hits allowed in 87 1/3 innings for Louisville. That’s why former White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod was chosen to fill in for the injured Homer Bailey. The Reds have Robert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen and Ben Lively in the Double-A rotation, and any of them would be more intriguing choices than Axelrod to take over if the Reds were serious contenders. I’m not expecting anyone from that group to get the call, though. Daniel Corcino might have a better chance, since he’s on the 40-man, but he’s not as talented.
Colorado: Jon Gray and Eddie Butler are the Rockies prospects everyone wants to see. The Rockies brought Butler up in June, only to see him go on the DL with shoulder inflammation two days after his major league debut. He’s 1-4 with a 5.08 ERA in five starts for Double-A Tulsa since returning. Gray is 10-5 with a 3.75 ERA and a 111/41 K/BB ratio in 23 starts for Tulsa on the year. At this point, I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to promote either in September. Gray could prove ready, but the Rockies might as well wait until next May to give him his first look, granting them an extra year of his service. … Despite losing Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies will probably continue to play their current guys rather than callups next month. Ben Paulsen deserves some at-bats after hitting .285/.371/.500 for Triple-A Colorado Springs, but since he’s limited to first base, there won’t be much for him to do. The Rockies would carve out a role for first baseman/outfielder Kyle Parker were he playing better, but his .288/.338/.447 line is quite disappointing considering the offensive environment in Colorado Springs. Cristhian Adames could be in line for some time at shortstop. He’s gone from hitting .276/.335/.349 in 84 games in Double-A to putting up a .324/.366/.410 line in 27 games since his promotion to the PCL. Still, his offensive potential is quite limited.
Los Angeles: Joc Pederson should finally make his major league debut in September, but with the Dodgers unlikely to do anything about their outfield logjam, a significant role doesn’t appear to be in store. Pederson has hit .301/.423/.574 in 399 at-bats for Triple-A Albuquerque this year. He’s one homer and two steals away from a 30/30 season. … Alex Guerrero is back in Albuquerque’s lineup after losing part of his ear in an incident back in May, but he’s hit just .221/.259/.286 in 20 games since returning, suggesting that he’s not going to be much of a factor in September. … The Dodgers acquired Roberto Hernandez, Kevin Correia and even Justin Germano this month because they didn’t trust prospects Zach Lee and Red Patterson to come up and start games down the stretch.
Miami: After struggling in his first month back in Triple-A, Andrew Heaney might have turned the corner in his last two starts for New Orleans, allowing four runs and striking out 15 over 13 innings. However, it’s hard to say whether he’ll get another opportunity for the Marlins in September. They have room for him, and Anthony DeSclafini hasn’t been able to secure the spot in his handful of opportunities. I still think Heaney is capable of succeeding in the majors right now, but I wouldn’t count on him getting the chance. … Justin Bour might be the Marlins’ best option at first base; he’s hit .323/.393/.556 with 17 homers and just 44 strikeouts in 322 at-bats in the PCL. The Marlins, though, remain committed to Garrett Jones, and Bour will probably be used primarily as a pinch-hitter next month. … Derek Dietrich will serve the same function as a September callup; he’s currently on a rehab assignment after missing six weeks with a wrist injury. The Marlins should use him as their primary second baseman next month. However, Enrique Hernandez is primarily playing second since being sent down to Triple-A, suggesting that he’ll also factor into the mix in September.
Milwaukee: With Jimmy Nelson and Mike Fiers up and in the rotation, the Brewers already have their main reinforcements up. Logan Schafer will return as part of the outfield mix. First baseman Matt Clark and third baseman Jason Rogers could make their major league debuts in bit roles, and former major leaguers Jeremy Hermida, Eugenio Velez and Pete Orr also have cases for promotions. However, there’s not going to be any fantasy value to be had here.
New York: In a surprising turn of events, Noah Syndergaard came out and said he doesn’t think he’s ready for the majors, which seems to suggest no September callup is forthcoming. The 21-year-old is 8-6 with a 4.76 ERA and a 119/37 K/BB ratio in 113 1/3 innings this season, but keep in mind that those are Las Vegas numbers. He has a nice 1.88 ERA and a 32/11 K/BB ratio over 28 2/3 innings in his last five starts. … With Rafael Montero and Matt den Dekker already up, the Mets probably won’t make much noise with their additional callups. Second baseman Dilson Herrera has been outstanding in Double-A, but there’s no reason to rush him. Outfielder Cesar Puello has been a big disappointment in Triple-A after last year’s Double-A breakthrough and subsequent Biogenesis suspension. He’s hitting .234/.335/.350 in 274 at-bats.
Philadelphia: The Phillies are planning to promote third baseman Maikel Franco, and he’ll probably alternate starts with Cody Asche at third base. He hasn’t met expectations this year, hitting .241/.285/.386 in Triple-A, and while he did take a step forward in July, batting .343 with four homers, he’s back down to .233 with no walks in 60 at-bats this month. He’ll likely only be of use in NL-only leagues in September. … 23-year-old outfielders Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr are already on the 40-man roster and could get promotions as a result. Neither has seen Triple-A yet, though. Altherr is the superior prospect of the two, but Dugan is the better player right now. … There’s little of interest on the pitching front here, though the Phillies may need an extra starter or two. Jesse Biddle isn’t a candidate for promotion after needing a month off this summer. If Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez gets the call, it will be to pitch out of the pen.
Pittsburgh: The Pirates are getting Gerrit Cole back to replace Charlie Morton (hip) in the rotation and they still have Brandon Cumpton in reserve, but they also have Nick Kingham ready for a chance if they need him. The 22-year-old Kingham has a 3.14 ERA and a 106/44 K/BB ratio in 140 1/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A this year. He lacks the upside of the Cole-Jameson Taillon-Tyler Glasnow triumvirate, but he projects as a nice piece behind them. … It’s unlikely that the Pirates will ask much of their position player callups. Andrew Lambo has hit .325/.386/.515 in Triple-A, but the Pirates prefer Travis Snider as their fourth outfielder. Alan Hanson, who was just moved from shortstop to second base two weeks ago, could get hauled up from Double-A, but it’d mostly be to watch. He’s hit .281/.327/.438 with 10 homers and 24 steals in 463 at-bats this season.
St. Louis: If Randal Grichuk gets the nod as the right fielder against left-handed pitchers, he’ll probably have the biggest role among the Cardinals’ September callups. Stephen Piscotty could also do that job, but Grichuk has a 1.122 OPS against left-handers in Triple-A, while Piscotty has no split at all (.760 OPS against lefties, .771 against righties). … The Cardinals also have left-handers Tyler Lyons and Marco Gonzales available as rotation alternatives, but Carlos Martinez seems to be the sixth starter at the moment.
San Diego: The Padres got their head start on September when they added Rymer Liriano to play right field. They’re also about to get Andrew Cashner (shoulder), Robbie Erlin (elbow) and Cameron Maybin (suspension) back, taking away a few spots that could have gone to callups. I’d like to see what Matt Wisler could do in the rotation -- he’s been much improved for Triple-A El Paso lately, posting a 2.93 ERA in his last five starts -- but he’ll finish the minor league season up around 150 innings, which is probably good enough for him. … Infielder Taylor Lindsey, who was part of the Huston Street deal with the Angels, has hit just .208/.264/.323 in 27 games since joining El Paso, so he’s done nothing to earn an opportunity. … Center fielder Reymond Fuentes has been a disappointment this year and probably wouldn’t have been a September factor even without Maybin returning to the picture.
San Francisco: The Giants have tried Adam Duvall, Joe Panik and Matt Duffy to give their flagging offense a lift. There isn’t much left for internal options. Former first-round pick Gary Brown doesn’t appear likely to ever contribute. 23-year-old Cuban defector Daniel Carbonell hasn’t been tested yet; he’s hitting well, but he’s doing so in A-ball. Jarrett Parker will be brought back, but he probably won’t be in line for starts in the outfield. He’s hit .250/.341/.444 in 10 games for Triple-A Fresno since getting sent down (he was called up directly from Double-A, where he hit .275/.368/.463). … The Giants do have rotation fallbacks in case someone gets hurt and they’d prefer to leave Yusmeiro Petit in the pen. Mike Kickham, who was up last year, has a 4.21 ERA and a 125/58 K/BB ratio for Fresno, with just six homers allowed in 136 2/3 innings. Chris Heston has a 3.50 ERA and a 108/45 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings. Still, Petit would likely be the choice.
Washington: Blake Treinen has already impressed in five starts this year and will be the fallback if the Nationals have need of a starter next month. That frees up the Nationals to try top prospect A.J. Cole as a reliever if they’d like. Cole is 5-0 with a 3.29 ERA in nine starts since moving up to Triple-A, though his peripherals aren’t so impressive (61 H, 7 HR, 37/12 K/BB in 52 IP). … The Nationals called up Michael Taylor to aid the outfield, and they should have Steven Souza back from the DL next month. They’ll probably give third baseman Brandon Laird a bench spot as a reward for his fine season -- he’s hit .314/.361/.501 with 15 homers in Triple-A -- but he shouldn’t have much of a role.