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Suiting up in September?

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It’s August 28th, just a handful of days remaining until September 1st. At that time, Major League rosters can expand to 40. Of course, no team is going to have all 40 members of their 40 man roster on their big league roster. Generally speaking, the Twins say they want to bring up an infielder, an outfielder, maybe an extra catcher, and a couple of arms. Also, the minor league seasons finish on Labor Day, so most of the call-ups will not happen until after that date.

Today, I’m going to take a look at 16 players that could be considered for a September call-up and try to handi-cap their likelihood of being called up. There are various reasons for a player to be called up. When the big league team is in contention, it has more to do with a role, something they can add to the current roster. That could be a pinch runner, a pinch hitter, or just some extra arms to only pitch in blowouts.

For a team like the Twins this year, they have a lot of players that they will want to see and evaluate over the final month. Some players may be out of options next spring. The Twins will need to add some players to the 40 man roster in November. Some may get added for September. Others may depend on how some fringe players perform in September.

With that background, here are some of the players who could potentially be called up in September. I believe there are 16 names here, and most likely the Twins will call up between five and seven players. Here is my list and percentages. Feel free to discuss.

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CHRIS PARMELEE (100%) – I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Parmelee will be up with the Twins in September again. He has simply crushed International League pitching all year to the tune of a .344/.463/.661 (1.124) line, including 17 doubles, a triple, 17 homers and 48 RBI. He even had more walks than strikeouts. Many wanted him called up to play in the outfield for the past month, but if the Twins thought he could play in the outfield, he might have played some there in Rochester. He has not played a single inning in the outfield for the Red Wings. He may see some time out there with the Twins. 40 Man Roster – Yes.

BRIAN DOZIER (95%) – He was sent down to Rochester for the final two weeks. He proceeded to have just three hits in his first 44 at bats with the Red Wings. He has played well the last two games, but the manager loves him and he will get some more time in September. Now, I also think that the Twins love the glove of Pedro Florimon at shortstop, so don’t be surprised to see Dozier spending some time at second base. Again, you would think they’d start doing that a little in Rochester first. 40 Man Roster – Yes.

JEFF MANSHIP (85%) – He’s out of options next season, so I would think that the Twins would want to see more of him and determine whether to bring him to spring training in 2013. With the Red Wings this year, he is 6-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 20 games. 40 Man Roster – Yes.

ESMERLING VASQUEZ (84%) – The hard-throwing right-hander has been terrific this season with the Red Wings, both out of the bullpen and over eight starts late in the season. Overall, he is 9-6 with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He has 98 strikeouts in 100.1 innings. 40 Man Roster – No.

MATT CARSON (82%) – The outfielder put on a nice show of what he could be (at his best) in his week-long stint with the Twins on the west coast. Since the 32 year old was only “optioned” to Rochester, my assumption is that he will come back up in September (and then be DFAd after the season). 40 Man Roster – Yes.

ANTHONY SLAMA (75%) – if he was anyone else putting up the numbers he is this year (not to mention over his entire minor league career, particularly the years in AAA), I would have this percentage at 100% However, this is the Twins and this is Anthony Slama, so who knows what the Twins will choose to do. If I was in charge, he would have been up a long time ago. 40 Man Roster – No.

EDUARDO ESCOBAR (71%) – The utility infielder came to the Twins in the Francisco Liriano trade. He hasn’t hit much in his four weeks with the Red Wings, but he’s been good with the glove all around the infield. I’m not worried about his bat because he rotted on the White Sox bench all season, and it appears, based on his role in Rochester, that he will be the Twins next long-term utility player (which makes Alexi Casilla’s non-tendering case even stronger). 40 Man Roster – Yes.

LUIS PERDOMO (68%) – It’s strange how much Perdomo struggled to throw strikes during his short stint with the Twins. In 28.1 innings with Rochester this year, he has just four walks to go with 24 strikeouts. His promotion would depend upon how many arms the Twins want to see in September. 40 Man Roster – Yes.

OSWALDO ARCIA (50%) – This 21 year old can flat-out hit. He was the Appy League hitter of the year in 2010. He needed just one month in Beloit last year before moving up to Ft. Myers. He spent a couple of months with the Miracle this year, doubled in the Futures Game, and has crushed Eastern League (AA) pitching. Between the two teams, he is hitting .317/.388/.539 (.917) with 36 doubles, six triples, 15 home runs and 90 RBI. He will play in Venezuela in the winter. 40 Man Roster – Yes.

CHRIS HERRMANN (40%) – I can see the Twins calling up the versatile Herrmann to play a role very similar to what Ryan Doumit is playing right now. Herrmann can catch and has improved greatly behind the plate. Since the Twins extended Doumit for the next two seasons, Herrmann has returned to playing a lot of left field, where he is known as a terrific outfielder. For the Rock Cats this year, he is hitting .268/.342/.385 (.727) with 23 doubles, ten homers and 55 RBI. He could take Drew Butera’s spot as one of three catchers, but he can provide more bat and even more bench versatility. 40 Man Roster – No (needs to be added).

CHRIS COLABELLO (35%) – I think the fact that Matt Carson will likely be called up makes it more unlikely that Colabello is promoted. The lanky right-handed bat has been incredible this year in his first year in affiliated baseball. He was the 2011 Independent League Player of the Year and signed with the Twins before spring training this year. He has responded by hitting .291/.358/.494 (.852) with 37 doubles, 19 homers and 95 RBI so far. The 28 year old could be a decent right-handed bench bat option. 40 Man Roster – No.

AARON HICKS (30%) – The 2008 first-round pick is finally putting together the stats that so many had hoped for, and so many fans had given up on him being able to produce. He finally has been able to turn all of his tools into skills. With New Britain, he is hitting .287/.385/.450 (.835) with 20 doubles, eight triples, 12 home runs, 56 RBI and 31 stolen bases. He is hitting lefties and righties well this year. He is showing that he can hit, hit for some power, run, play great defense and has a very strong arm. He also has the sixth tool, very good plate discipline. 40 Man Roster – No (But he needs to be added).

DEOLIS GUERRA (25%) – This is Guerra’s final season of options. He started out great with New Britain, and when he moved up to Rochester, that success continued… for a while. Hitters started waiting for his changeup and pounding it. Then, he missed about a month with injury, and he has struggled. The Twins may want to bring him up in September and just see what he can do. Or, they could bring him to spring training next year and give him a job. This is one situation that will be interesting to watch this offseason. 40 Man Roster – Yes.

WILKIN RAMIREZ (10%) – Signed as a minor league free agent before the season, Ramirez was once a big-time prospect of the Detroit Tigers. Still just 26 years old, Ramirez has some potential. He has shown it recently in Rochester. In his last 15 games with the Red Wings, he has hit .426 (23-54) with six doubles, seven homers and 17 RBI. A terrific athlete, he is another outfielder. 40 Man Roster – No.

CALEB THIELBAR (6%) – It would sure be a nice story if Thielbar got a September cup of coffee with the Twins. The left-hander from Randolph, Minnesota, was signed at about this time one year ago from the St. Paul Saints. This year, he began with Ft. Myers, where he dominated. He moved up to New Britain, where he continued to be dominant. He advanced to AAA Rochester, and although he has not been dominant, he is left-handed, throws the ball well, and can miss a few bats. It may not happen this September, but he has put himself into the discussion. 40 Man Roster – No.

KYLE GIBSON (1%) – The Twins and all around the Gibson situation continue to say that the Twins will NOT promoted Gibson when the rosters expand in September. Instead, he’ll finish out the season with the Red Wings, then go to instructional league and then pitch in the Arizona Fall League. If all goes well, he will go to spring training 2013 with an opportunity to make the big league roster. Of course, I want to leave my projection at 1% just because he’s worked hard to return from his September 6, 2012, Tommy John surgery. 40 Man Roster – No (but he needs to be added).

0% Chance – Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Nick Blackburn and Rene Tosoni – All three have been removed from the Twins 40 man roster within the past two weeks, and it is unlikely they would add any of them back for September (although, I guess, Blackburn is always an option).

0% Chance (due to injury) – Joe Benson’s had a rough year that likely just ended with a knee surgery. Sean Burroughs started the season with the Twins but was quickly DFAd and spent the year with the Red Wings. He hasn’t played in six weeks due to some lower back pain. Lester Oliveros had some elbow issues and was shut down. Pedro Hernandez suffered a lat injury and was shut down for the season.

My Prediction for September Call-Ups – Parmelee, Dozier, Escobar, Carson, Arcia, Vasquez, Manship, Slama. (That’s eight promotions and 32 players on the roster, not counting PJ Walters who could return shortly as well. That likely means that at least one or two of my picks are not going to be promoted. So, with this information, who do you think will receive September call-ups for the Twins?
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