September Callup Candidates

 

September is just 16 days away. With
15 games in those 16 days, a lot of things can happen with the Nats. They can
go on a run and get back into the thick of things in the Wild Card race. They
could also go on a losing streak and drop out of the race just as easily. For
the most part, the Nats’ September call-up candidates will be the same, but
their eventual roles may differ.

The only player on the 40-man roster
that I don’t think has a chance of making it to the Majors in September is Matt
Purke, who has always struggled with injuries and is just starting to hack it
in high A ball. 

Obvious
candidates

RHP Ryan Mattheus –
He was just sent down yesterday to make room for Drew Storen. I’ve never been a
huge fan of Mattheus because I don’t trust relievers who don’t strike guys out,
but he’s traditionally been one of Davey’s go-to guys (before punching a
locker, at least), and will be back.

 LHP
Xavier Cedeno – He’s on the 40-man roster and has already been called up
to the bigs this year. Cedeno has handled his AAA opposition pretty well this
year, putting up a 1.50 ERA and 3.07 FIP. His control hasn’t been great (4.8
BB/9), but he’s striking out a more-than-impressive 11.7 per nine to help balance
it out. He’s a lock for a call-up.

RHP Erik Davis – Just
like Cedeno, he’s on the 40-man and has been called up this year. He’s got a
hilarious 6.23 ERA and 0.50 FIP (neither of which are typos) in the big leagues
this year and a 3.09 ERA/3.31 FIP in AAA that makes much more sense. Davis has
almost a 3:1 K/BB in the minors this year and has succeeded despite an unlucky
.341 BABIP. He’s a healthy candidate for a 2014 bullpen spot and will have
plenty of chances to audition next month.

1B Chris Marrero – He’s
hacking it okay in AAA this year (.276/.324/.419) and has made it up to the
bigs this year. He’ll be auditioning for a bench spot next year. Also on the
40-man.

UTIL Jeff Kobernus 
Kobernus will be up as a super utility guy. His inclusion to September’s roster
gives the Nats an option allowing them to shut down Espinosa if necessary. He’s
still hitting over his head in AAA (.327/.371/.395 in 341 plate appearances),
but the defense and speed are real.  Also on the 40-man.

1B/OF Tyler Moore 
Davey seems to be suggesting that Moore makes it up before September. He’s
currently at .314/.393/.568 in 196 AAA plate appearances and will get plenty of
opportunities in the big leagues between now and the end of the year.  Also on
the 40-man.

OF Eury Perez – I’ve
never been a huge fan of Perez, but I have to give him props for developing
some power (7 HR this year after only having 11 in the rest of his career).
He’s at .301/.334/.429 this year and will be up predominantly as a pinch runner
and defensive replacement.  Also on the 40-man.

Returning
from the DL

If Ross Detwiler, Christian
Garcia
and Ross Ohlendorf get healthy, they’ll all be up. 

Potential
Candidates

IF Danny Espinosa 
he’s still not hitting well in the minors (.211/.281/.289 overall, .212/.298/.240
since the all-star break, .260/.339/.300 in August). His glove will probably
get him back up for September, but I think there’s also a greater than zero
chance that he’s shut down to get healthy.  Also on the 40-man.

SS Zach Walters – In my
opinion, he and Rhymes are the only non-40 man candidates to be added to the
September roster. His .254/.285/.541 triple slash is both awful and awesome,
and he has 28 HR. The 15 BB/116 K ratio needs to burn, though. 

2B Will Rhymes – The former
Tiger and Ray has a .281/.365/.353 triple slash and an amazing 57/25 BB/K ratio
this year. He can fill in at 2B and 3B to spell Rendon and Zimmerman and could
serve as a good contact/on base lefty off of the bench.

OF Corey Brown – Brown
could have helped the Nats weeks ago as a lefty option off of the bench
(#FREECOREYBROWN). He’s been just okay in AAA this year (.241/.303/.467), but
his career numbers are much better, so I’ll chalk it up to being a partial
abberation. He’s got plenty of pop still and has a history of good plate
patience. He’s on the 40-man.

RHP Nate Karns – He was bad
in his 3 ML starts (7.50 ERA, 8.38 FIP in 12 innings), but got pretty unlucky
with homers (3.75 HR/9 ain’t gonna stick). Karns’ 20 AA starts look much
better, with a 3.45 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 10.58 K/9 and 3.53 BB/9. He’s a
candidate to replace Taylor Jordan in the rotation once he’s shut down, but
could also contribute in the bullpen. Also on the 40-man.

LHP Tyler Robertson – As guys
on the 40-man go, he’s the second least likely to make the September roster
after Purke. Robertson has a decent ERA (3.63) and improved control (7.0 BB/9
with Minnesota’s AAA squad this year, 3.3 with Syracuse), but is still a
mediocre option where the Nats already have some decent depth (Krol, Abad and
Cedeno are all ahead of him). 

C Jhonatan Solano –
Either Solano or Leon will make the playoff roster. I’d say Solano has probably
an 80% chance, but he’s struggled with injuries and poor performance this year,
hitting just .211/.244/.274 in 136 PA in Syracuse. He’s on the 40-man.

C Sandy Leon – Leon is
currently under the Mendoza line for AA Harrisburg, but is at least taking
enough walks to not be a total zero at the plate (.194/.303/.277 in 323 plate
appearances). He’s still the Nats’ backup of the future over Solano, but is
still not qutie ready. He’s on the 40-man.

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