Today marks the first day of September, and with the ninth month of the year comes a bevy of call-ups as the rosters are expanded from 25 players to 40. Manager Eric Wedge probably won’t use all 40 roster spots, but here is a look at some guys that should be seen in Seattle this fall, and some sleepers that may make appearances as well.
First of all, there are the obvious guys that have split time between Seattle and Tacoma this year. Erasmo Ramirez and Carlos Peguero, both members of this group, have been recalled already. Names inside of this category that are currently in Tacoma include Shawn Kelly, Hector Noesi, Alex Liddi, Mike Carp, and Casper Wells.
I would expect Ramirez and Noesi to both get scattered starts considering the struggles of Kevin Millwood. Ramirez has actually pitched well this year, and would have likely spent the entire year in Seattle if it weren’t for an injury. He currently holds a 3.82 ERA and 1.109 WHIP in 30.2 innings of combined relief and starting work in the MLB.
A few players that won’t get free passes for September, but will likely get some time with the big club are D.J. Mitchell, Carlos Triunfel, and maybe Danny Hultzen. At 25 years old, Mitchell was one of the players acquired in the Ichiro trade. After the swap, Mitchell was assigned to Tacoma where he has posted a 2.96 ERA. However, Mitchell’s 3.51 BB/9 has been problematic.
Triunfel has not necessarily earned a September callup, but he may get the opportunity out of necessity. As much as I like Brendan Ryan, his lack of offense is frustrating. While Triunfel’s AAA OBP of .305 is hardly better than Brendan Ryan’s OBP, I think that Triunfel needs to be given a chance in the infield. Honestly, I would like to see Triunfel get an opportunity for the sole reason of ruling him out of our future. At one point, Triunfel was planted squarely in the future of the Mariners, but he has faded out of the organization’s plans. I would like to see him get a few games just so that we can say that we gave him an opportunity before entirely writing him out of Seattle’s plans. It’s a somewhat convoluted strategy, but I think that Seattle needs reassurance that Brendan Ryan is the absolute best player at shortstop right now.
Danny Hultzen has also had a very frustrating stint in AAA. After dominating AA Jackson, the lefty has gone 1-5 with a
6.09 ERA in Tacoma. His BB/9 skyrocketed from 3.82 in AA to 7.71 in AAA. Although his control has been a problem, it would be good to get Hultzen some experience in Seattle, and I would be surprised if he wasn’t promoted for September.
The previously mentioned eight players have a pretty good chance of seeing time at Safeco Field in the upcoming month, but there are a few other guys that could unexpectedly be called up to Seattle. The first sleeper is Andrew Carraway. Like Hultzen, Carraway excelled in AA but had more problems in AAA. He did, however, maintain an excellent HR/9 and BB/9. With the big three looming on the horizon, Carraway may not get on opportunity to establish himself in the rotation in the next two years. If he is going to get a chance with the Mariners, now might be the time.
The biggest sleeper of them all could be Luis Antonio Jimenez. The 30 year-old Jimenez is running out of time to make a major league roster, but he has put up stellar numbers in AAA this season. His 20 homeruns, 81 RBIs, .398 OPS, .520 SLG, and .918 OPS all rank in the top 12 for PCL players this season.
Neither of these sleeper players are on the 40-man roster right now, so someone would need to be removed in order to make room for them.
There are always top prospects like Nick Franklin, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Mike Zunino that may get a chance to be called up, but none of these players are on the 40-man roster either. They could be added, but the organization may not want to remove other players from the roster quite yet.
September will be a good opportunity to see some new faces on the Mariners and will also provide valuable experience for some guys that will be needed in Seattle next season or the season after. I wouldn’t expect many of the extremely hyped prospects to make appearances this month, but it will still be exciting to see some young players at work in the major leagues.