With September Call-ups being made today, the Yankees decided to stack their bullpen with a few young guns. Here were the five September call-ups yesterday:
Key SWB players not to make the call up list were Jon Albaladejo, Zach Kroenke and Shelley Duncan. Some people are angered by this, but these players are being kept down for the SWB Yankees attempt to repeat for the Governor’s Cup.
Albaladejo was not called up due to an eye injury he suffered a few days ago. He may be called up shortly.
I recently commented on a Chad Jennings blog post and asked him who he thought would be called up in September, if Ramiro Pena could play CF in the MLB yet, and if Austin Jackson could play all three outfield positions.
Here was his response:
The call-up situation changed today with the announcement that Joba Chamberlain will be pitching every five days, but only going a few innings at a time. That likely means more pitchers going up than I originally expected.
Of the five pitchers on the 40-man — Melancon, Claggett, Ramirez, Albaladejo and Dunn — I now think three will go up on September 1 and the other two will go after the season. I’ll take a guess that Albaladejo is the one most likely to go up on September 1.
Postion players, I think only Cervelli and Pena will go up on September 1. After the season, I think Duncan, Miranda and maybe Jackson.Pena looks good in center field, but I wouldn’t have him start a game there in New York. Maybe late in a game that’s already decided. For a guy who’s hardly played the position, playing center field in a big league ballpark is going to be quite a bit different from a minor league park.
No doubt Jackson can play all three spots in the big leagues right now and be well above average defensively.
Every month we will preview the Yankees 2010 Roster based on our opinions of who the Yankees will sign.
Here are the Yankees Free Agents for next year:
SS-Jerry Hairston Jr.
RF-Eric Hinske, Xavier Nady
So here is what I project will happen with those players:
Jose Molina-No contract offered
Jerry Hairston Jr.-No contract offered
Johnny Damon-Offered Arbitration, accepted
Eric Hinske-No contract offered
Xavier Nady-No contract offered
Hideki Matsui-No contract offered
Andy Pettite-Re-Signed to a 1 Year Deal
So here is how the roster would look
C-Jorge Posada, Francisco Cervelli
3b-Alex Rodriguez, Ramiro Pena
Lf-Jason Bay (signed to a 5 year $85 Million deal in offseason)
Cf-Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner
Rf-Nick Swisher, Shelley Duncan
SP-Andy Pettite/Jarrod Washburn if Pettite retires
SP-Phil HughesSecurity Starters (in case of injury) Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, Josh Towers
Long Relief-Alfredo Aceves
Middle Relief- Dave Robertson, Phil Coke, Zach Kroenke
Set-Up- Damaso Marte, Danys Baez (signed to a 2 year deal, the Yankees have been wanting him for a long time)
So, in my opinion, the Yankees will get younger this offseason, with the bench especially getting younger.
Every year in September the MLB rosters expand to 40 players, rather than 25. Here’s who I believe the Yankees should call-up for the pennant race.
*Most teams call up 3 or 4 players before the AAA and AA playoffs end, then call up more*
1. Zach Kroenke, LHP, AAA Scranton. Kroenke has been lights out in AAA this year, with a sub-2.00 ERA. Kroenke would help the bullpen by giving them another lefty reliever and by giving them length.
2. Ramiro Pena, INF, AAA Scranton. Pena has seen a lot of time in the MLB this year and could help with the infield depth. We don’t want Jose Molina being the backup third baseman, do we?
3. Mark Melancon, RHP, AAA Scranton. Melancon has had limited time in the MLB this year, but has had pretty good results in his time there. Melancon can help out with depth.
4. Shelley Duncan, OF, AAA Scranton. Duncan had one day in the majors this year before being sent down in favor of Jerry Hairston Jr. Duncan has been stellar in AAA.
AFTER THE AAA PLAYOFFS:
5. Josh Towers, RHP, AAA Scranton. Not on the 40-man but could be a spot-starter or a long reliever if needed.
6. Jon Albaladejo, RHP, AAA Scranton. Closing in AAA, has seen time in the MLB.
7. Juan Miranda, 1b, AAA Scranton. One and done this year in the MLB.
8. Kevin Russo, INF, AAA Scranton. One of the most consistent players in AAA this year, needs a spot on 40-man.
9. Austin Jackson?!?!?! OF, AAA Scranton. This is one I am uncertain about. He could use the experience, but they don’t want to rush him.
10. Francisco Cervelli, C, AAA Scranton. Was great in his time in the MLB. Currently on the 7-day DL in AAA.
This would give the Yankees 35 players, 36 with Brett Gardner returning. That is more than enough.
PROBLEM: 4 of these players (Kroenke, Towers, Russo, Jackson) do not have spots on the 40-man roster.
WHO WOULD LEAVE THE 40-MAN:
1. DFA Kevin Cash. With Cervelli, Molina, and Posada all healthy, and Cash on the DL in AAA, he is completely not needed.
2. DFA Sergio Mitre.
That still leaves 2 extra spots needed, so two of those (I suspect Towers and Russo) wouldn’t be called up.
*This is pure speculation*
In my first segment of 10 questions with, I ask 10 questions to Mike Ashmore, Trenton Thunder beat writer.
1. Out of all the players in AA this year….who has impressed you the
most? Who has dissapointed you the most?
Mike Ashmore: Impressed me the most is probably Ivan Nova or Josh Schmidt. Looking
at his previous numbers, I really wasn’t expecting a lot out of
Nova…and I thought his confidence might be shot from getting knocked
around in big league camp with the Padres. While I don’t think he was
as consistent as he would have liked to have been in Trenton, he did a
lot to improve his stock while he was here.
As for Schmidt, he isn’t a guy who will ever be considered a prospect,
despite the fact he’s always put up numbers. He’s the kind of guy a
lot of fans will ignore because they don’t read about him in the
prospect books and so on…but he’s been unflappable for most of the
season, performing better than the guys with supposedly better stuff.
2. Give us some background info on Josh Schmidt?
MA: Schmidt is a great guy, and it seems you won’t find anyone who will
tell you any different. It’s not uncommon to see him chatting away
with a fan, the grounds crew, a beat writer or anyone he can find.
His engaging personality is very similar to another Californian, Phil
Coke. Throws a mid 80’s fastball, a so-so slider and an absolutely
devastating slow curve. I’ll be very, very curious to see how his
repetoire plays against Triple-A hitters…and I think that chance
will come soon.
3. Give us some info on Zach McAllister?
MA: Z-Mac isn’t really that exciting on or off the field. He’s a quiet
kid in the clubhouse, and doesn’t really blow anyone away on the
mound, nor does he have what you could describe as one standout
offering. But he really pounds the zone, has great command of his
stuff, and flat out knows how to pitch. He’s attracted the interest
of quite a few scouts who have passed through Waterfront Park…
4. If you had to pick one player on the Thunder that will have a long
and successful MLB career who would it be?
MA: It would be hard to bet against Jesus Montero right now. I’m not sure
if that career will come behind the plate, but his bat will take him a
5. After seeing the whole Tony Bernazard and Binghamton Mets story
play out and the Mets be repeatedly chastised for their lack of depth
how do you feel the Yankees are at the same thing? Do you feel they
have good enough depth in the system?
MA: No. They’ve had to dip into the minor league free agent pool and
independent baseball recently. And even with that, some of the
options to be called up aren’t exactly very appealing. It seems that
the position player depth is a bit behind the pitching depth…and
even the pitching depth doesn’t seem to be what it used to.
6. Give us some insight on Jesus Montero?
MA: Has a big body for a 19-year-old…he could stand to improve a bit
behind the plate, but he continually works to do so. It’s not
uncommon to see him working on blocking balls in the bullpen or in the
batting cage. He struggles a bit with offspeed stuff at the plate
sometimes, but overall…the bat is absolutely there. Seems to crush
line drives with the flick of the wrists.
7. Give us the best prospect you’ve seen (thunder or non-thunder) that
has impressed you the most?
MA: Assuming I’m sticking with guys I’ve seen just this year, both Tim
Alderson and Junichi Tazawa (who is on the Redsox AA Affiliate) were both really impressive. Had I seen
Jeanmar Gomez’s perfect game, I’m sure I’d have included him here as
8. Were you surprised when you saw Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena
jump from AA to the MLB? Are there any current AA players that you
think can do the same any time soon?
MA: Cervelli didn’t surprise me because they really didn’t have a choice
with the way the 40-man roster was constructed. You can’t argue with
what he did while he was there, but considering the way he was playing
in Trenton, you could make a case that he didn’t exactly earn it,
either. Pena was a surprise just because of the role he was asked to
fill. All he ever really did in Trenton was play shortstop, and there
he was filling at third base for Alex Rodriguez. I was surprised at
how well he handled it.
As far as any of the current Thunder players being able to make the
jump…honestly, I’m not really sure anyone on the current roster is
ready for that right now. I’m sure there are guys who would perform
well if they were given the opportunity…but there isn’t anyone
standing out for me. Maybe Jorge Vazquez? His age and his bat would
make him a candidate.
9. When talking about the minor leagues we always seem to use the word
“potential.” The Yankees may promote Andrew Brackman despite his
horrific numbers in Charleston because of his potential. The Yankees
were so reluctant to promote Pat Venditte because they felt he didn’t
have much potential. I think Josh Schmidt would be a good case in AA.
Can you describe the effect potential has on minor leaguers compared
to actual success?
MA: I don’t know if it’s so much that they didn’t think Venditte had
potential as it was his stuff may not have compared favorably to other
guys in the organization. And a lot of it’s financially related as
well. Look at the investment they’ve made both financially and with a
roster spot they’ve made with Brackman. They have little choice but
to keep throwing him out there, regardless of how he does.
The guy with the better stuff, sometimes regardless of results, will
likely get a look before the guy who’s getting by with average stuff
but is putting up numbers. If you were doing things based off of
numbers, Josh Schmidt and Eric Wordekemper would be in Scranton right
10. What is your favorite story that you’ve had with the Thunder?
MA: This season, probably the Thunder Burger Challenge…it was an
off-beat story and had nothing to do with baseball, which was nice
because I can kind of get tired of writing about it 24/7.
Overall, probably anything regarding last year’s championship. After
they won it on the road in 2007, it was nice to be able to be a part
of it last year and see them win it in front of the home fans.
Thanks again to Mike for answering the questions!