Yesterday, Pat Gallen took a look at some of the players who could be recalled from the minor leagues when rosters expand September 1.
I agree with Pat’s list but wanted to touch briefly on the deeper issues of September roster expansion. The truth is, the process that begins Thursday is one often misconceived by the common fan.
A team can call on fifteen additional players to fill out a September roster, but oftentimes will only take about a handful.
Well, for practical reasons, such as dugout and clubhouse space, playing time and need. Is it worth it to add Josh Barfield to the 40-man if he would only serve as backup to the backup to the backup to the backup? Or how about Phillippe Aumont? It would be intriguing, but would he actually pitch?In reality, the Phillies will probably call up the following players for the following reasons:
- Domonic Brown – Ibanez insurance, pinch-hitter, bench speed
- Brandon Moss – lefty power bat that Ross Gload no longer is
- Juan Perez – second bullpen lefty
- Mike Zagurski – third bullpen lefty
- Pete Orr – extra infielder
- Erik Kratz/Dane Sardinha – third catcher
Outside of that? Justin De Fratus might take the place of a Zagurski, but something tells me he doesn’t get a September callup. Of course, if anyone gets injured some of the longshots could see big league time in the regular season’s final month.
Six players is the perfect amount of guys to bring up. The traditional school of thought says anywhere from five-to-seven. More than that, you get a bunch of guys sitting around doing nothing. It’s not beneficial.
Teams like the Phillies, though, are in good shape when it comes to September callups. The Phillies have a lot of money, thus they can afford to give more month-long prorated major league minimum contracts than small-market teams.
This inequality brings out the archaic nature of the 40-man roster rule. If nobody actually adds 15 men, why not just make it a set amount, like 31, and dictate that each team bring up the same amount of extra guys?
Baseball has a lot of quirky rules. This is one that tends to fly under the radar.