Take a good hard look at the September call-ups for the Astros because what you see in 2019 will not match what will happen next year and at least for the near future.
This season the same procedure will be followed as in previous years as teams can call up anyone on the 40 man roster on September 1 until the end of the regular season. Starting next season, the teams will have 26 man rosters, but can only expand them to 28 players, which will make next season a much more intriguing time. It also feels like that 28 player limit is a bit low. Doesn’t 30 sound like a more reasonable upper limit?
Teams can bring up the 15 extra players that would amount to 40 active players, but they never do as this gets unwieldy (plus they probably run out of seats in the dugout and the bullpen). However, it would not be surprising to see the Astros bring up one of their largest contingents of call-ups this time, especially with their recent overuse of their bullpen.
So, here’s a look at the Astros choices for call-ups. (Note: Lance McCullers Jr. who is on the 60 day IL does not count against the 40 man currently, while Aledmys Diaz and Josh James, who are on the 10 day IL do). It is assumed that both Diaz and James return to the active roster once well, but neither will likely return until after Sept. 1.
- Joe Biagini – Biagini may well be “called-up” this week rather than Sept. 1. He was only sent down because he had options and he pitched 3 innings earlier in the week.
- Garrett Stubbs – The Astros will no doubt take advantage and bring up a third catcher to give Martin Maldonado and Robinson Chirinos some breathers down the stretch
- Myles Straw – The Astros liked what they saw with Straw and his ability to get on base, tear around the bases and play the outfield in his earlier major league appearances
- Kyle Tucker – Even though he may not get a ton of at bats, the Astros owe their top positional prospect some time in the majors after an up and down, but overall productive season in AAA (.268 BA/ .353 OBP/ .953 OPS / 32 HRs/ 93 RBIs/ 28 SBs)
Likely to get a callup
- Jose Urquidy – Urquidy had a mixed bag in his mlb appearances, but the Astros will likely bring him up for spot starts or length out of the bullpen
- Jack Mayfield – He was a poor hitter in his first stint in the majors, but he has hit well at AAA and he is the only infielder on the 40 man, who is not on the 25 man (other than the injured Diaz). This will be doubly important if Diaz does not return in a timely manner.
- Jose Armenteros – Yes, he had a lousy appearance the other day, but he has been pretty good at other times in his recent call-ups. The Astros need arms.
- Framber Valdez – The Astros are so short on leftys that this makes quite a bit of sense to give Framber another go out of the ‘pen.
Likely to get bypassed
- Brady Rodgers – After a rocky call-up to the big team, he pitched a few times at AAA, got hurt and has been pitching at Rookie ball lately.
- Dean Deetz – Like a lot of pitchers he has been lit up at AAA (6.11 ERA) and is not likely to get the call.
- Reymin Guduan – He is a lefty who throws hard, but he has not excelled in either the minors or for a cup of coffee in the majors this season
- Cionel Perez – He got whacked around at AAA and the majors and is currently getting re-set at Rookie ball
- Bryan Abreu – Of all the folks on this lower list, he is the one who has been pitching the best lately at AA and might get to follow-up on the one inning of shutout ball he threw with the Astros earlier in the season.
Please, note a couple things. The Astros might wait to promote some of these folks until whatever post season minor league run their team(s) may face. Also, note that if you want to promote someone not on this list (Abraham Toro anyone?) someone has to leave the 40 man to make space for him.
So, what do you think? How would you mold the September call-ups?