Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Who should get called up in September?
By Richard Durrett
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Today is the end of August. That means it's the last day teams can add players that can count toward the postseason roster. But we've discussed that (and will continue to do so today). The other big date is Wednesday. That's when every club can make it's September call-ups.
"In the past, we've used it as much as a developmental opportunity and an audition for a few guys for the upcoming season," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "This year, we're going to be more focused on bringing up guys that we distinctly think help us win and be very competitive at the major league level. So my guess is the numbers will be a little bit smaller than it's been in the past. It will be a more targeted group that we think can help the team."
Anyone on the 40-man roster is eligible to be called up. So let's take a look at some possibilities:
Taylor Teagarden: He'll be back up for sure as the Rangers would like another catcher to help keep Matt Treanor and Bengie Molina fresh. Teagarden was much better in his second stint with the club and gained some confidence from it. Max Ramirez is also in OKC.
Chris Davis: Yes, the Rangers have Mitch Moreland and Jorge Cantu at first base (basically platooning) and they have a gaggle of left-handed hitters. But it wouldn't hurt to have Davis' glove over at first late in games, would it? And Davis, remember, can also play third. He's batted .290 with four homers and 22 RBI in the month of August for the RedHawks.
Zach Phillips: He's a left-handed pitcher who can go multiple innings, which would give the team another southpaw to go along with Darren Oliver, Matt Harrison and Michael Kirkman. Philips started the season in Double-A, but is now at Oklahoma City. He's 3-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 46 1/3 innings for the RedHawks.
Pedro Strop: He's had two brief stints in the majors this season and was a late August call-up in 2009. He would give the club some depth in the bullpen.
Doug Mathis: He was on the Rangers in April and part of May and again in July. Look for him to get a call-up because he's one more bullpen piece that can go multiple innings.
Mark Lowe: He's been working on getting back healthy and is throwing off flat ground in Arizona. It's still unlikely he'd be back before the end of the season, but it's possible. If he's a call-up, it would be late in the month. But his DL spot is another one the club can fill to help them with flexibility on the playoff roster.
Tanner Scheppers: He was moved to the bullpen after starting some this season in the hopes that he'd be ready for a call-up. As we discussed on Monday, Scheppers has struggled of late with his control and is working on fixing his mechanics. He could certainly do that at the major league level and would give the club another power arm if he does figure things out. But he's not on the 40-man roster, so the club would have to make a move there to get him on it.
Others that could find their way in the discussion: Omar Beltre, Guillermo Moscoso and Brandon Boggs.