Roster expansion used to bring a slew of call-ups as teams filled their dugouts to the bursting point. But the altered economics of the game have limited call-ups for most clubs to bench players and extra relievers. A one-month call-up can cost about $66,000 in extra salary, plus another $3,000 in per diems, as well as extra insurance costs, travel costs and so on. Adding a player to the 40-man roster also makes him eligible for the new minor league minimum salary, which runs about $65,000 (compared to $12,000 or less for minor leaguers who have yet to be added to a 40-man roster or reach minor league free agency). Recall a half-dozen extra players, and it's easy to exceed a half-million dollars in added expenditures -- roughly a third-round pick's bonus or a relatively expensive signing in Latin America.
With that in mind, here are a few of the more interesting prospects who have been called up this September:
Clay Buchholz, RHP, Boston Red Sox
Buchholz needs little introduction after he introduced himself Sept. 1 against the Orioles. He is a potential top-of-the-rotation starter. He has two outstanding off-speed pitches -- the curveball that was so effective for him in his no-hitter and a changeup that ranks as one of the best in the majors. He also has a very good feel for pitching. After what we just saw from him, there's little doubt he will do well under pressure in Boston.