Potential September Call Ups: Non-Roster Players
Image courtesy of David Kohl, USA TodayThe 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.
Better Than 50% - Eric Fryer, JO Berrios
Close to 50/50 – Mark Hamburger
Deserve Stronger Consideration – James Beresford, Pat Dean, JT Chargois