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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