Sorting out September callups


SHELLEY SMASHMan, you know the season is  almost over when we start talking about possible September callups. In case you don’t know what those are, teams are allowed to expand their rosters on September 1st, which allows them to rest their regulars and get a look at some younger players. Because these guys aren’t on the active roster by August 31st, they are ineligible for the postseason roster. Teams can still finagle them on there if there’s an injury, though, which is exactly what the Angels did with K-Rod back in 2002. So who are the Yankees going to call up in September this year? EJ Fagan at TYU already took a shot at figuring out who it would be, and now it’s my turn.

Now, one thing to remember is that not all Sept. callups actually happen on Sept. 1st. Last year, the Yanks only called up two players on the 1st – a third catcher in Chad Moeller and another arm in Phil Coke. Melky Cabrera was recalled three days later, after the minor league regular season ended. David Robertson, Phil Hughes, Humberto Sanchez, Frankie Cervelli, and Juan Miranda weren’t brought up until the minor league playoffs ended in the middle of September.

In 2007, essentially the same thing happened. Ian Kennedy and Alberto Gonzalez were recalled on the 1st, and it wasn’t until the minor league season/playoffs ended a week or two later that the likes of Tyler Clippard, Sean Henn, Kei Igawa, Matt DeSalvo, Jeff Karstens, Bronson Sardinha, and Ross Ohlendorf were brought up. 2006? Same thing. Wil Nieves, Jose Veras, and TJ Beam on the 1st, everyone else in the middle of the month. Obviously this year’s team is in a different spot since they’re so far out in front, but they have a history of throwing their upper-level affiliates a bone and letting them keep their best players for a playoff run.

Assuming they stick with this trend, don’t expect to see much action next Tuesday. Frankie Cervelli seems like a given to add that third catcher, ditto Ramiro Pena since the team only has three bench players right now. As for another arm, Jon Albaladejo seems like the logical choice since he can give some length and has been on the NY-SWB shuttle all year. Remember that the team is also likely to get Brett Gardner back off the disabled list around this time, so that’s like calling up another outfielder.

Anthony Claggett, Edwar Ramirez, Mark Melancon, Juan Miranda, and Shelley Duncan are already on the 40-man roster and have been in bigs before, so they seem like locks for a call up once Triple-A Scranton’s playoff run ends. After that though, things get tricky. Chris Garcia, Ian Kennedy, and Kevin Cash are on the 40-man, but are out for the season with injuries sustained while playing in the minors. The team can’t slide them over to the 60-day DL to free up 40-man spots because of that, so there’s basically three dead spots they have to maneuver around. There really isn’t anyone else DFA’able in there, and it would be pretty stupid to cut someone like Sergio Mitre just to add another pitcher likely to perform at a similar level while paying both salaries.

Zach Kroenke and Mike Dunn are two lefty relievers that have had tremendous seasons in the minors. Kroenke, drafted by the Marlins in the Rule 5 Draft last offseason but returned in Spring Training, is holding lefthanders to a .169 AVG against and can go multiple innings if needed. Dunn is holding all batters to a .218 AVG against and has struck out 94 in just 70.1 IP. Both guys were reportedly told that they would head to the Arizona Fall League if they didn’t receive a Sept. call up, which, if nothing else, tells us that they’re at least considering bringing them up. I think Dunn has a leg up because he’s already on the packed 40-man roster.

Wilkins DeLaRosa is another lefty bullpen option on the 40-man, but his performance has been up and down between injuries this year. I don’t see it happening. The only other player on the 40-man roster not accounted for is Andrew Brackman, and he hasn’t done anything to deserve a call up. It’s a shame, really.

The other group of players they could consider for possible Sept. call ups are the players eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter. Generally speaking, high school draftees from 2005 and college draftees from 2006 are eligible this year, so that means players like Austin Jackson, Kevin Russo, Ivan Nova, and Mr. Kroenke. I don’t remember the Yankees ever calling a player up in September before he had to be added to the 40-man, and I don’t see that happening now given how crowded the roster is. It’s more likely that you’ll see these four guys, plus DeLaRosa and Brackman possibly, come up to the Bronx to work out with the team and hang around the clubhouse and stuff, but without being activated. They’d then have to watch games from the stands since they can’t be in the dugout. The Yanks do this with a few guys every year, and some alumni include Phil Hughes, JB Cox, Alan Horne, and Jeff Marquez.

So just to recap, look for Cervelli, Pena, and a pitcher like Albaladejo to be brought up immediately, with Dunn, Melancon, Edwar, Shelley, Miranda and Claggett to follow once the Triple-A Scranton season/playoff run is over. Realistically speaking, the Yankees just need enough position players in September to make sure they can rest everyone in the infield as well as Johnny Damon at the same time down the stretch, and that would be possible with Hinske, Hairston, Pena, Miranda, and Shelley. They’d also need just enough arms to soak up maybe 50 innings tops, mostly in blowout games and spot starts once a playoff spot is clinched. This group accomplishes all of that.

Photo Credit: Antonelli, NY Daily News

Categories : Minors, Players


  1. the artist formerly known as (sic) says:

    “Man, you know the season is almost over when we start talking about possible September callups”.

    CUE: nostalgia and nerves. Oh boy.

  2. the artist formerly known as (sic) says:

    What is the advantage to keeping Cash? Why not free up the roster spot?

  3. A.D. says:

    There really isn’t anyone else DFA’able in there

    Isn’t Kevin Cash the definition of DRA’able?

  4. Makavelli says:

    No Austin Jackson September call-up?? Not that I’d be expecting much from him…but why not take the bib off for a little bit…let him get his shirt dirty…

  5. Bo says:

    Brackman should go back to basketball. The Knicks need some size.

  6. Kevin Cash is out for the rest of the year.

    He will be 32 before he plays in his next baseball game (12/6/77) and has a career big league line of .186/.248/.287. He’s signed with the Red Sox or Yankees as a spring training minor league addition the past four years.

    If you look up “valuable but eminently disposable player” in the dictionary, you’ll see Kevin Cash’s picture.

    We really can’t cut him to add Kroenke? Really?

  7. Dela G says:

    i hope they bring up AJAX this september. Just having one MLB at-bat could make him work even harder in the offseason to make a huge impact for the big club next year.

  8. jsbrendog says:

    miranda has to be 40 man cannon fodder this offseason right? i mean, the guy is never gonna play in the bronx….

  9. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing Shelley and Melancon.

    I have high hopes for Melancon. As for Shelley, I don’t expect him to do good but I like him so I really hope he can prove everybbody wrong and hit a ML breaking ball.

  10. 27 this year says:

    Looking forward to the offseason, Duncan will probably be DFA’d again and so will Cash to clear up room. Miranda will probably be traded as a throw in or for another bench type player.

  11. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    They could call up Zachary Heathcott and John Murphy.

  12. Lou Fan 260 says:

    Next year- batting 8th and playing Center Field (or left if Jackson is here) for the Yankees- Chone Figgins

  13. Makavelli says:

    Makavelli > Cervelli

  14. Mac says:

    Austin Jackson should absolutely be called up. He has speed and defense. Getting a few major league AB’s won’t hurt him either. How was he not mentioned more in this post?

  15. Ed says:

    I don’t remember the Yankees ever calling a player up in September before he had to be added to the 40-man

    I can think of one. You mentioned him already – Ian Kennedy.

  16. Reggie C. says:

    alan horne? is horne relevant in any yankee related discussion. is this 2006?

    If callups intefere with playoff AAA games, it’d be best for Jackson to finish what he started & have another great set of playoff games. Jackson put on a showcase last season, so hopefully he’s got another one in hm to finish off 09.

  17. Makavelli says:

    Honest non-bias question…

    Who improves more with the September call-up additions?

    Yankees or Red Sox?

    Note: I’m not asking who has a better team afterwards…but who IMPROVES more.

  18. JM says:

    You know whats annoying? Every single MLB team has been caliing my house over and over again, offering me contracts of about $28M per year. They are so persistent because they want me on their playoff rosters or so they have a chance to make the playoffs. Ugh. I think I’m gonna have to disconnect my phone until September 1st.

  19. Tony says:

    They should get Jackson playoff eligible. It’s a no-brainer in my opinion.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      How so?

    • jsbrendog says:

      there is only one way he is needed in the playoffs:

      3 out of melky, gardner, swisher, damon, hinske, hairston get injur…….

      wait…there is no reason to get him playoff eligible because thereis no way he gets any time at all over any of those guys.

    • Ed says:

      The Yankees can replace Wang and Nady with anyone in the organization. Jackson can get in the playoffs if they want him to be.

      • So, ultimately, the correct answer to Tony’s comment of:

        They should get Jackson playoff eligible. It’s a no-brainer in my opinion.

        should be:

        He already is playoff eligible. Everybody under contract to the Yankees organization, across all levels of the majors and minors, became playoff eligible when Nady and Wang hit the DL.

      • Jeffrey says:

        Wang and Nady are both already on the the 60-day DL so those spots are already occupied.

        • That’s not the issue at hand.

          We’d still have to clear a 40-man spot for AJax, but the point is that 40-man spot clearing does not have to happen under any time constraint in order for AJax to be playoff eligible. We can DFA Cash and add AJax to the 40-man the day AFTER the regular season ends and still put AJax on the playoff roster, because we get two exemptions to the standard playoff eligibility requirement of August 31 because of the Wang and Nady injuries.

    • A) It’s not a no brainer, because there likely isn’t room for him on any playoff roster anyway. Because, our 13-man position player pecking order is:

      13-Molina OR Cervelli

      I love AJax as much as the next guy, but he’s not going to pick off Melky or Gardner this year, and we can’t carry all three. Too soon.

      B) We can add anyone we want to the playoff roster, because we have two exceptions thanks to Nady and Wang. Jackson can be called up on the last day of the season and be placed on the postseason roster, I believe.

  20. stefan says:

    What about Grant Duff? I hear he’s dialing it up to 109 MPH. And that’s just his breaking ball.

  21. Mac says:

    The point of adding Jackson to the roster and getting him some AB’s and time in CF before the end of the season is exactly Tony’s point.

    Injuries happen. No chance in hell I want to go into the playoffs with only 1 CF in Melky or Gardner. If either of them are hurt for the playoffs then you bring up A-Jax who can play solid defense and add some speed on the bags.

    That my friends is a no brainer. But if they don’t bring him up and give him some regular season time then they really can’t bring him up to play in the playoffs.

    Even if Gardner comes back, why not have A-Jax on the bench in case they need a pinch runner or some defense in the OF?

  22. Cliff B says:

    Do they announce when the Rookie Hazing thing is going to be

  23. Cliff B says:

    Why would you ever bring an end to this?

  24. On A-Jax:

    His OPS has dropped each month: .912, .841, .761, .665, .662. Despite the crazy low OPS this month, his BABIP is still at .358 and he’s got a 29.0% LD rate so at least he’s still hitting the ball hard. There’s definitely been a drop in production, but the line drive rate, 22.6% overall and below 20% in only one month this season, is still encouraging.

  25. JMK says:

    Tell me there’s no chance Cody Ransom gets called up. Please, someone say it can’t happen.

  26. Jeffrey says:

    Why can’t Kennedy, Cash, and Garcia be put on the 60-day DL?

  27. steve says:

    The Yankees ARE allowed to release someone of the 60day DL (Kevin Cash)

  28. shlomo says:

    Andrew Brackman on the 40 man??? I live in Charleston, SC, where he currently plays for the Class A Riverdogs – he has had a horrible year … he may never even reach double A.

  29. [...] and check out my Sept. callup post if you missed it. Even if you didn’t, go ahead and give it another read. Posted on [...]

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