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Potential September Call Ups: Non-Roster Players

Here we are, the final day of August, and the Minnesota Twins are still in contention for a playoff spot. They will enter September four games over .500. Just like we all anticipated in March, right?

Starting today, the Twins may start making some moves to alter and then add to their current roster. On September 1, anyone on the 40-man roster could be called up. Obviously it’s more likely that they call up six or seven players within the next week or so than call up 14 to 15 players. However, there are at least a dozen players who deserve consideration to spend the final month with the big league club.

In this article, we’ll discuss several players who are not currently on the 40-man roster who deserve to be considered for a September call-up.
Image courtesy of David Kohl, USA Today
The Twins 40-man roster is currently at 40, plus Ricky Nolasco and Ryan Pressly on the 60-day disabled list. In other words, if any of the below players were to be added, someone would have to be removed from the current 40-man roster. The other option is putting a player on the 60-day DL. Phil Hughes and Aaron Hicks won’t be placed on the 60-day DL, but could they put JR Graham on it?

Remember that only maybe three to five players will be called up on the 1st and more will come after Labor Day when the minor league regular seasons come to an end.

Below you’ll find a bunch of players who are not currently on the 40-man roster but could be considered for a September call-up. The “Odds” at the end of each player’s information is simply my guess as to the odds of them being promoted. I have no knowledge. They are just my guesses based on following the team and such things for a dozen years. Enjoy, and at the end, leave your thoughts.

** Note: About 2:00 central time, my thoughts on the 40 man roster options will be revealed. **

ERIC FRYER – Catcher

The Twins will want to add a third catcher. It makes a ton of sense as it will allow Paul Molitor to feel more comfortable pinch hitting for Kurt Suzuki or Chris Herrmann. The only other catcher playing on the Rochester roster right now is Carlos Paulina, though Allan de San Miguel remains on the disabled list. Odds: 99.9%

MARK HAMBURGER – Right-Handed Relief Pitcher

We wrote about it in spring training, and it very well could happen in September. If the Twins call up Hamburger to pitch in their bullpen, his coach in the bullpen will be Eddie Guardado who he was traded for in August of 2008. Hamburger debuted with the Rangers in 2011 and then things got rough. He pitched for the St. Paul Saints in 2013. The Twins signed him and after serving a suspension in 2014, he pitched well in AA and AAA. He was in big league camp until late and when he got to Rochester, he made four starts. He wasn’t great in the first half, but in 25 games since mid-June, he has been terrific. He has worked short relief, but he has pitched over two innings four times in that span too. In 29.1 innings, he has a 0.92 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. He has walked two and struck out 25. In other words, his case is strong. Odds: 45%

PAT DEAN – Left-Handed Starting Pitcher

Last week, we ran a story on the southpaw. The 26-year-old has been in the organization since the 2010 draft. He is having a breakout season in 2015. He is 11-11 with the Red Wings with a 2.91 ERA in 170 innings. He has thrown three complete game shutouts and has completed six innings in 20 of his 25 starts. On Sunday afternoon, he tossed eight shutout innings. He wouldn’t start, but he could eat some innings if needed. Odds: 20%

MICHAEL BOWDEN – Right-Handed Pitcher

The Twins signed Bowden to a minor league contract after he opted out of his deal with the Orioles organization in July. He had an August 22nd opt-out with the Twins but did not use it. With the Red Wings, he made six starts and went 3-2 with a 4.33 ERA. In his most recent start (Thursday), he threw seven shutout innings. He has pitched for the Red Sox and Cubs in the big leagues and spent 2014 playing in Japan. He has started this season in the minors, but has pitched primarily out of the bullpen in the big leagues. Odds: 10%

JAMES BERESFORD – Second Baseman

The Twins signed Beresford as a 16-year-old from Australia late in 2005. He debuted in the States in 2007. He has gradually and successfully climbed up the Twins system. He has spent the last two-and-a-half years with the Red Wings. In 2015, the 26-year-old has hit .316/.351/.372 (.722) with 21 doubles, one triple and one home run. Earlier in his minor league career, he played more shortstop, but over the last three or four years, he has played almost exclusively second base. He can play all three infield positions. Odds: 25%

DOUG BERNIER – Utility Player

Bernier has spent at least some time with the Twins in each of the last three seasons. He’s been a utility infielder through most of his minor league career, which spans back to 2002. In 89 games this year with the Red Wings, he hit .242/.334/.292 (.627). The 35-year-old would provide depth. Odds: 15%

REYNALDO RODRIGUEZ – First Base/Outfielder

The 29-year-old originally signed with the Yankees way back in 2006. He spent some time in independent leagues before spending several years with the Red Sox organization. He has been with the Twins since 2013 and has been a solid extra base producer each year. In his first full season with AAA Rochester, he has hit .261/.313/.458 (.771) with 33 doubles, seven triples and 15 home runs. He also has 11 stolen bases. The odds of him being promoted are low due to his position and other options for the Twins, but his performance on the field certainly warrants discussion. Odds: 2%

DANNY ORTIZ – Outfielder

Ortiz is 25 years old and was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2008. At 5-11 and about 190 pounds, he doesn’t look like a power hitter, but he is usually good for ten to 12 homers a year. Ortiz was at spring training with the Twins and played OK. He profiles as a fourth or fifth outfielder. He started the year with the Red Wings hitting alright, but really has struggled the last two months. He is down to .241/.290/.414 (.704) with 30 doubles, three triples and 14 home runs. Odds: 1%

STUART TURNER – Catcher

Turner’s defensive prowess has had him pushed arguably a level higher than he should be the last two years. When looking at his offensive numbers, that shows. However, the defense is legit. In his last 30 games, he has hit .277/.390/.366 with seven extra base hits. He has 19 walks against 20 strikeouts. The Twins have said they want another catcher. We assume that means Eric Fryer as Turner doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2016 season. Odds: 0.1%

ADAM BRETT WALKER – Outfielder

Since being the Twins third-round pick in 2012 out of Jacksonville University, he has been one of the most productive hitters in the minor leagues. USA Today has him listed as one of the top five candidate for minor leaguer of the year. Sure, we may say Max Kepler should be on that list, but Walker has had another solid year. In AA, he has hit .241/.314/.500 (.814) with 29 doubles, 29 homers and 100 RBI. He also has 12 stolen bases. Sure, he’s struck out in about 35% of his plate appearances and walked about 9.5% of his time. He needs to be added to the 40-man roster after the season. However, finding playing time for him would be tough. Odds: 5%

JT CHARGOIS – Right-Handed Relief Pitcher

While other relievers were talked about more coming into the season, Chargois returned to the mound after missing two years with injuries. He flashed a near-triple-digit fastball and a slider and did well. He began in Ft. Myers but spent the second half in Chattanooga. In his last 14 outings (15 innings), he has given up just one earned run. He has to be added to the 40-man roster after the season anyway, so he's certainly an option after the Lookouts playoff run. Odds: 10%

JO BERRIOS – Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

You knew I had to save the big talker to last, right? Berrios is making another start for Rochester on Monday night. Terry Ryan will see him again and make some sort of decision after the game. It will likely be the most-watched-by-Twins-fans Rochester start in a long time. He’s already at 155.1 innings. He shouldn’t work more than 175 to 180 innings this year, so what will his role be? I don’t know what Terry Ryan needs or wants to see. Berrios can contribute now. Even if you don’t want him to start because of innings concerns, he could be a guy who is ready for long relief duty. A guy who could eat two or three innings to save the rest of the bullpen. Odds: 60%

Again, these are all just guesses based on following things for a long time (meaning, I’m old). Let us know what you think. Later today, we’ll discuss the players on the 40-man roster and which of them we think might be added for September.


SUMMARY

Better Than 50% - Eric Fryer, JO Berrios
Close to 50/50 – Mark Hamburger
Deserve Stronger Consideration – James Beresford, Pat Dean, JT Chargois


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66 Comments

Why is that the limit on berrios? No Kepler? He is on the 40 man.
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 30 2015 08:19 PM
At this late stage, what are the mechanics for getting Berrios on the 25-man prior to Sept 1st, so that he can cleanly qualify for a possible postseason roster?

Can players on the 25-man still be optioned? I am envisioning a situation where Berrios replaces O'Rourke tonight or tomorrow and some third player removed from the 40 man.

Like you, I'm not sure what Ryan needs to see in this Berrios start tomorrow night. (Talk about SSS). Hopefully it will be a 2 inning start, followed immediately by a shower and trip to the airport.
    • TRex and jun like this

You can get one spot by putting Graham on the 60-day. He was a Rule 5 guy, I'm not sure if he has to come back and get those other service days or not.

 

Who is on the 40-man that you can get rid of. Anyone of the 40-man except Kepler and Ploanco, who both won't come to the Twins as Chattanooga will be in the playoffs. Expect both to have Arizona fall league consideration.

 

If you aren't going to bring up Logan Darnell or Jason Wheeler, then you cut them. Period. Same can be said for Aaron Thompson. I would rather see some new fringe names than those three. Wheeler would probably apss thru waivers and stay with the Twins because of his double demotions this year.

 

You have Meyer, Tonkin and Achter. Do you give them innings? Do you shut down Meyer?  With his recent troubles, do you try and let O'Rourke float thru the designated for assignment wire?

 

Pelfrey, Cotts and Duensing will be in limbo after the season. Duensing ahs worked himself back into the Twins graces, although I wouldn't bend over backwards to keep him next year. At some point, you cut Pelfrey if he has a bad start, just for the roster spot. But.....

 

We have to keep Herrmann. We will bring up Pinto. There's no fluff in the offense unless you cut loose Robinson or Nunez. You really don't need to cut bait with Vargas or Arcia, yet.

 

So, you have 3-4 potential spots to fill. I doubt that the Twins will callup Berrios or Chargolis. It would be ncie to reward Bowden, Dean, Hamburger, Beresford - but what are you going to use them four. None of those hands will be on the 40-man next season. I would rather see Turner, Berrios, Chargolis, Walker - all a aprt of the Twins future. But ti ain't happening.

 

Callups: Logan Darnell, Tonkin, Achter, Pinto, Vargas, Arcia. That'sit. Doesn't get me excited. Hicks will be back. Hughes will return.

 

 

 

Why is that the limit on berrios? No Kepler? He is on the 40 man.

 

I think Seth just covers the non-roster guys here. 40-man guys coming shortly in a separate post.

    • Danchat and hybridbear like this
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Winston Smith
Aug 30 2015 08:21 PM
They should skip the start Monday night, save those innings. DFA Pelfry and add Berrios. Seems simple in my simple mind.
    • mikelink45 and Hosken Bombo Disco like this

This declining of the opt-out has me wondering about Michael Bowden. I know he's only listed here at 10%, but...

    • Danchat and gagu like this
Ah, got it. Thanks. Not calling up berrios just tells us they care more about 2022 than this year. I guess fans should too?
You touched on it, but what exactly is the point of Ryan watching Berrios' start tomorrow. JO already has 150ip (not SSS) and Ryan just watched him fan 12 in 7 shutout innings.

On the spectrum of "16k no-hitter" to "not getting out of the first inning", what options are floating around in Ryan's head.

TR: Well, if he throws a no-hitter, he can ride with me in first class back to MSP, but if he stinks then he stays in Rochester and has to be the one to tell all the other Sept 1 callups, with a sign around his neck that says "not ready"

WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT TO SEE, TERRY?!?!
    • scottz and mikelink45 like this
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TNLooky2015
Aug 30 2015 08:57 PM

MLB Insider: Twins batters have wilted as pinch hitters
Their pinch hitters have hit .119 this year, as Paul Molitor looks for answers.

 

How much more could Walker hurt?  His upside as a late September Call Up could be huge if he continues to do what he does (29 HRs in 2015 / 25 HRs in 2014 / 27 HRs in 2013 and Post season MVP in 2012).  Considering what everyone else has done this season as a pinch hitter - What is there to lose?  He has Game Changing capabilities.

 

http://www.startribu...ters/322596641/

My question is who would be taken off the 40 man roster to make room for any of these you mentioned?  Someone mentioned putting Graham on the 60 day DL.  Pretty sure unless he needs surgery if he was put on the 60 day DL the union would have an issue with the Twins.  I find it funny he went on the 15 day when he did.  So barring any 60 day DL people, who would get DFA?

Fabulous article, Seth. My two cents worth is that if Berrios really pitches tomorrow, the Twins will not call him up. They are concerned about his innings, and if he is used tomorrow, I think they will let him have one more start at Rochester, then rest him the remainder of the year.
Really love that kid, though. He, Sano, Buxton, Rosario, and Kepler are the faces of the future.

No Kepler? He is on the 40 man.

uote]
Chattanooga (Kepler) will make the playoffs, and Rochester will not.

 

MLB Insider: Twins batters have wilted as pinch hitters
Their pinch hitters have hit .119 this year, as Paul Molitor looks for answers.

 

How much more could Walker hurt?  His upside as a late September Call Up could be huge if he continues to do what he does (29 HRs in 2015 / 25 HRs in 2014 / 27 HRs in 2013 and Post season MVP in 2012).  Considering what everyone else has done this season as a pinch hitter - What is there to lose?  He has Game Changing capabilities.

 

http://www.startribu...ters/322596641/

What is there to lose? First off, service time. However, Walker is eligible for the rule-5 draft next season so we'll need to add him to the 40 man roster regardless.

 

However, I actually don't think Walker would help our pinch hitting. Reasons why:

1: I know we've all heard this many times, but ABW strikes out a TON. He still needs seasoning and time to develop. He looks like a guy who will need [some] time at AAA. 

2: Pinch hitting opportunities happen late in the game. Who pitches during the late innings? Relievers. And you know what most relievers are good at doing? Striking people out. ABW isn't ready to face major league relievers yet.

3: The Twins trust veteran players. They aren't going to trust ABW late in a game they need to win. I don't necessarily agree, but I think that's what the Twins Management would think.

 

If the Twins want to improve their pinch-hitting, then get Vargas up here. He's been hitting better of late.

 

Why is that the limit on berrios? No Kepler? He is on the 40 man.

 

It just is... Because enough people believe that it does matter and they're going to take care of their most valuable pitcher.

 

This article, as it says in the title, is about Non-Roster guys.

 

Can players on the 25-man still be optioned? I am envisioning a situation where Berrios replaces O'Rourke tonight or tomorrow and some third player removed from the 40 man.
 

 

If they want to option someone, they can option them to Rochester or Chattanooga. They would need to stay on their roster's for 10 days, unless injury, or until the season is done.

 

That's why I'd expect that if they do option someone, it would be to the GCL since their season is over.

My question is who would be taken off the 40 man roster to make room for any of those you mentioned?..So barring any 60 day DL people, who would get DFA?

I nominate Jason Wheeler, AJ Achter and Aaron Thompson.
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gopherman23
Aug 30 2015 11:13 PM
With the disappointing seasons our college power arms (Burdi, Reed, Jones) are having, it is nice to see Chargois having success after his two year layoff. I highly doubt the Twins call him up though due to that reason.

 

What is there to lose? First off, service time. However, Walker is eligible for the rule-5 draft next season so we'll need to add him to the 40 man roster regardless.

 

However, I actually don't think Walker would help our pinch hitting. Reasons why:

1: I know we've all heard this many times, but ABW strikes out a TON. He still needs seasoning and time to develop. He looks like a guy who will need [some] time at AAA. 

2: Pinch hitting opportunities happen late in the game. Who pitches during the late innings? Relievers. And you know what most relievers are good at doing? Striking people out. ABW isn't ready to face major league relievers yet.

3: The Twins trust veteran players. They aren't going to trust ABW late in a game they need to win. I don't necessarily agree, but I think that's what the Twins Management would think.

 

If the Twins want to improve their pinch-hitting, then get Vargas up here. He's been hitting better of late.

For the record:  Walker is hitting .381 when the games are Close/Late this year in 42 ABs.  He has 16 hits with a .429 OBP.  [This is based on his MiLB splits].  That has pinch hitter written all over it.  That includes 4 HRs and 12 RBI in those close encounters.  In his 2 previous seasons - Walker had 6 Grand Slams.  That has pinch hitter written all over it.  

 

Walker has HRs against Mike Pelfrey; Trevor May; Matt Barnes (Boston); another Boston Pitcher in 7 spring training games.  He also has two doubles - one off Tanaka of the Yankees and one off another  Boston pitcher within those 6 games.  That is 4 HRs and 2 doubles against MLB present day pitchers.  Spring Training or not - That has pinch hitter written all over it. I tend to agree with TNLooky.  Nothing to lose.  Again - No other prospect can say they hit 4 HRs in thier spring training call ups.  Just saying...............Things I'm sure people never noticed about Walker.........................

 

Fabulous article, Seth. My two cents worth is that if Berrios really pitches tomorrow, the Twins will not call him up. They are concerned about his innings, and if he is used tomorrow, I think they will let him have one more start at Rochester, then rest him the remainder of the year.
Really love that kid, though. He, Sano, Buxton, Rosario, and Kepler are the faces of the future.

 

I would say that it will be interesting to see how much Berrios pitches tonight for Rochester. If he pitches well and doesn't go more than three or four innings, we will know that the Twins are likely calling him up. But, there's no way to know. Berrios is strong. If he looks strong, I think he'll come up. Personally, I just don't knwo what Ryan will see tonight that Quade and Mason and Mientkiewiecz and Cliburn and guys like Steil and Radcliff and others have seen all year. 

 

For the record:  Walker is hitting .381 when the games are Close/Late this year in 42 ABs.  He has 16 hits with a .429 OBP.  [This is based on his MiLB splits].  That has pinch hitter written all over it.  That includes 4 HRs and 12 RBI in those close encounters.  In his 2 previous seasons - Walker had 6 Grand Slams.  That has pinch hitter written all over it.  

 

Walker has HRs against Mike Pelfrey; Trevor May; Matt Barnes (Boston); another Boston Pitcher in 7 spring training games.  He also has two doubles - one off Tanaka of the Yankees and one off another  Boston pitcher within those 6 games.  That is 4 HRs and 2 doubles against MLB present day pitchers.  Spring Training or not - That has pinch hitter written all over it. I tend to agree with TNLooky.  Nothing to lose.  Again - No other prospect can say they hit 4 HRs in thier spring training call ups.  Just saying...............Things I'm sure people never noticed about Walker.........................

 

Pretty sure that 4 spring training home runs won't factor into the decision even a little bit. I also doubt that his Close & Late numbers (in a very small sample size) will be factored in. They will likely solely go by the recommendations of Mientkiewicz and Chad Allen, and what Terry Ryan saw last week. 

    • Carole Keller, DaveW, DJL44 and 3 others like this
Jason Wheeler and Aaron Thompson could both easily be removed from the 40 man roster. Tonkin is another guy who the Twins could afford to lose.

instead of wasting a roster spot and 40 man spot on Fryer, for 3rd catcher, why not just call up Pinto to serve as the emergency catcher, he at least has enough of a hit tool where he could be an asset as a PH, no? I know his defense isn't to the Twins liking, but as 3rd catcher it wouldn't be a whole lot of innings anyways. That allows Berrios and someone like Hamburger to take the easily opened 40 man roster spots.
    • Carole Keller likes this

Pretty sure that 4 spring training home runs won't factor into the decision even a little bit. I also doubt that his Close & Late numbers (in a very small sample size) will be factored in. They will likely solely go by the recommendations of Mientkiewicz and Chad Allen, and what Terry Ryan saw last week.

I don't see him getting called up, I get that you want more bench bats this time of year (especially for the Twins) but I think Vargas, Arcia, Pinto and Kepler will be those "guns" off the bench. NTM Hunter. I'd rather they use the open 40 man spots for pitchers who can help.
    • brvama likes this
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Carole Keller
Aug 31 2015 06:00 AM
How many do teams typically call up? They can go to the full 40, but does anyone ever do that?
    • stringer bell likes this

How many do teams typically call up? They can go to the full 40, but does anyone ever do that?

It depends, teams that are "out" of it will typically call up more, since there will be more playing time available on meaningless games more or less.

Teams "in it" will call up less, since they want to run their best 9 and best 5 out nearly every game from here on out. The Twins likely will only need to add 2 or 3 pitchers tops (just as extra insurance, anything more than that is overkill)
As far as the non pitching goes, the bench is already small, so I would guess 5 hitters come up.
One extra catcher (Pinto)
One UTIL/INF type: polanco or Santana (though I could see both coming up)
And a couple hitters: Kepler, Vargas, Arcia
Finding at bats for all of those guys will be tough though. Most likely looking at a PH appearance a couple times a week each or so.
Also while they could call up all 40 it wouldn't make any sense, the costs alone (salary, transportation, per diem, hotel) wouldn't be worth calling up an extra 7 or 8 guys (instead of 7-8 called up) just to have them sit on a crowded bench.

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