Thursday Night, August 14, 2008
Off Day Topic 2:
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Here we are in mid-August and the Twins are a game behind the White Sox after the Sox beat the Royals this afternoon. That brings us to an interesting topic for me as someone who is very interested in the Twins minor league system. Who will be called up by the Twins in September? The team could call up anyone on their 40 man roster, but generally teams will just bring a few players to the big league club. Sometimes it is simply a reward for a good season. Sometimes the player will help fill a role down the stretch. Players can be called up at any time after September 1st. Those players can not be on the postseason roster though (unless there is an injury). If a player is called up on the last day of August, they could be postseason eligible. Here are my thoughts on who the Twins will promote:
Bobby Korecky - He was up earlier and did a solid job. He's already on the 40 man roster. He has continued to pitch well for the Red Wings. The Twins need arms in the bullpen. Easy call. Should come up on September 1.
Matt Macri - Again, he did a nice job when promoted earlier. Can play at least 2B and 3B and pinch hit. He has hit three homers in the last two days. Provides another right handed bat and some versatility. Should come up on September 1.
Jason Pridie - With the injury to Michael Cuddyer, this probably becomes even more obvious. He is already on the 40 man roster. He can play three OF positions. He has been hitting very well this year with the major exception in May. He has earned it of late. Should come up September 1.
Brian Duensing - He has to be added to the 40 man roster in the offseason anyway. After representing the Twins and the United States in the Olympics, I can see the Twins bringing him up. Based on the starting rotation, he would be another needed arm in the bullpen. Should come up when the Rochester season is over.
Philip Humber - He has had a disappointing year, to be sure. But since returning to the rotation, he has pitched quite well. However, I think the Twins would have promoted him either way. He is on the 40 man roster, and next spring, he will be out of options, so I think that the Twins will want to see what they have for next year. Again, another bullpen arm wouldn't hurt at all. Should come up after the Red Wings season is over.
Rob Delaney - This is probably the least likely, but I think it should happen. We always hear that once a player can dominate AA, he is probably ready for the big leagues. Well, Delaney was a Florida State League All-Star in the first half. He has now thrown 28 innings in 18 relief appearances in New Britain. He is 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA. He has five walks and 34 strikeouts. Again, I just think that the Twins need to add arms. He is not yet on the 40 man roster, but I would have no problem with them taking Julio DePaula off of the 40 man roster. In fact, I think this could be done now with Brian Bass taken off the 40 man roster, and Anthony Slama moving up to New Britain. Should come up now, but probably could wait until after the New Britain season is over.
Drew Butera (or Jeff Christy) - I think it would be wise for the Twins to add a third catcher. That way Gardy wouldn't have to worry about DHing Mauer when he has Redmond catch. He can also use Redmond as a pinch hitter. I just think it is wise to do that. To make room, the Twins could move Jose Morales to the 60 Day Disabled List. Should come up after the New Britain or Rochester season is over.
There are a few others that we should at least be watching and could be considered:
Bobby Kielty - He was brought in after Michael Cuddyer broke the bone in his foot, probably as insurance. If he hits well in Rochester, particularly against left-handed pitching, he is the type of guy that could be called up August 30th and put on a potential playoff roster as a pinch hitting option.
Ricky Barrett or Mariano Gomez - I don't think they would promote both of them, but maybe on of the two AAA lefty relievers. I can pretty much assure it won't be Carmen Cali! Gomez is 4-2 with a 2.29 ERA. In 59 innings, he has given up 60 hits, walked 19 and struck out 40. He was the story early in the year. Of late, Ricky Barrett has really thrown well. On the season, he is 3-5 with a 3.16 ERA. In 62.2 innings, he has (way too many) 34 walks, but he also has (an impressive) 74 strikeouts. He has always been tough to get hits on (49), but those walks are more than a little alarming. Neither is currently on the Twins 40 man roster and would have to be added. Barrett was on the 40 man roster for a couple of years but because of a lot of injuries, he was taken off and resigned with the team.
Luke Hughes - His season started out great, and he represented the Twins in the AA All-Star game and the Futures Game. But a couple of injuries cost him more than a month of the season and when he came back, he really struggled. His incredible AA numbers dropped precipitously. But the Twins promoted him to AAA a couple of weeks ago, and he has definitely done well for them, hitting over .300 and showing power. He will need to be added to the 40 man roster after the season.
Alejandro Machado - The Twins Rule V pick in Dec. 2006, he has been hurt most of his time with the Twins, but in a small sample this season, he has hit. I would question what he can do on defense with a couple of bad shoulders though. Time off may be best.
Could, but I don't think it makes sense:
Kevin Mulvey is just 6-8, but has a very solid 3.84 ERA. That said, he would not have a role with the Twins in September, and he doesn't need to be added to the 40 man roster yet this offseason, so there is no reason to promote him.
Garrett Jones - He isn't on the 40 man roster, and they know what they have with him. Simply, he needs a change of scenery.
Trevor Plouffe/Anthony Swarzak - both are in AAA, but I don't think either would play a role. They both need to be added to the 40 man roster in the offseason to avoid being subject to the Rule V draft.
Let me know what you think the Twins should and will do at the Trade Deadline. They can use some reinforcements. Seven seems like a lot to bring up, but they are in a pennant race, and they do have flexibility to add payroll. That said, paying seven guys a prorated portion of the league minimum wouldn't cost a whole lot. Any thoughts?