August 27, 2008

September call-ups?

Another disappointing loss to another futile team, just makes you want to pull your hair out doesn't it? The Twins face mediocre (at best) pitchers and are making them look like All-Stars. It's not very fun to watch.

The rosters expand on September 1st, which means that we'll see a few minor leaguers come up and try to help the Twins in any way possible before the end of the season. Unfortunately, the players called up are not eligible for being on the postseason roster unless there is an injury to a player already on the Twins 25-man roster. I believe there will be more hitters than pitchers called up, however the Twins could very well go with more pitchers due to the fact that our bullpen is in need of rest. Here are the players I expect to see called up:

Matt Tolbert - INF - He has been out since May with a thumb injury and should be ready to return within the next couple of weeks. He's a fun player to watch and although he likely won't see a ton of playing time, he will certainly be used as a pinch runner. Ron Gardenhire admires his hustle and we all know what he does with the players who hustle, he starts them. So although I don't believe he'll see a ton of playing time, Gardenhire might have a different agenda.

Bobby Korecky - RHP - He had a good go-around his first time with the Twins earlier in the season. He went 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in 9 appearances. His season started off great, posting a 0.68 ERA in 10 April appearances before being called up at the end of the month. He then came back to Rochester and slowely progressed as the season went on. So far in August, he is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA in 10 appearances and 8 saves. He will be a great addition to the Twins bullpen.

Philip Humber - RHP - Unlike Korecky's season, Humber's did not get off to a good start. He was absolutely brutal before the All-Star break posting a 5.92 ERA to go along with his 4-7 record. But since then, he is 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA. He has also had much better control with a 4-1 K/BB ratio opposed to a 1.46 K/BB ratio prior to the All-Star Break. He has definitely turned his season around and since he is out of options next season, the Twins want to see what they have in Humber right now. He seems like a great fit for our bullpen right now as well.

Brian Bass - RHP - He was just assigned to Triple-A to make room for Casilla, and will likely be recalled to help with long-relief. He likely will not be on the team next season, so he may be pushed aside for a guy like Kevin Mulvey if the team doesn't believe he'll contribute enough. Mulvey is younger and has a future on this team. He has also had much more success in the last 2 months compared to May & June. He needs to improve his control, but he's had a great first season in Triple-A. Either Bass or Mulvey would be fine options.

Jason Pridie - OF - Pridie was acquired in the off-season in the Delmon Young-Matt Garza trade and should add some depth to the Twins outfield as he can play any three of the positions with great defense. He is hitting .333 with a .892 OPS after the ASB. He has turned into Denard Span in just a matter of months with a great OBP. He is a left-handed hitter and can help the Twins when they are facing a right-hander and as a defensive replacement in the outfield (likely for Young, as neither Span or Carlos Gomez need one).

Drew Butera - C - He isn't currently on the 40-man roster, however it's likely the Twins will add a 3rd catcher on September 1st. Butera is known as being one of the best defensive catchers in the minors and although he looks lost at the plate, his game calling and defense could make him a possibility to start for some team someday down the road.

Garret Jones - 1B/OF - He too is not on the 40-man roster, but the Twins have room to still add him. He started off April & May hitting just .208 with a terrible OPS. But since the ASB, he is hitting .342 with 12 Home Runs in just 40 games (compared to 9 in 93 games prior to the break). He also has an OPS of 1.060 since then as well. He hit just .208 last year with the Twins, but he is on such a tear right now that he should be able to provide a left-handed bat off the bench that can drive the ball, instead of allowing Gardenhire to use Nick Punto in the 9th inning with 2 outs when you're down by 1 run and the tying runner is at 1st base like last night...

Another player worth noting is Alejandro Machado who may also be a possible callup. He has played in just 49 games but is hitting .347 with an OPS of .859. As a middle infielder, that is a great number to see. He hits left-handers better than right-handers which could be very useful for the Twins.

Just some players to think about with the roster expansion less than a week away.

Game Ball (8/26)
Scott Baker - Starting Pitcher
Line: 6 2/3 innings pitched, 10 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 3 K's