We have just about 5 weeks until the Mariners 2019 season comes to a close. But we are just one week away from the rosters expanding to 40 for the final time as MLB will limit roster expansion to 28 starting next season.
For the Mariners, for the first time in a long time, there are legitimate prospects to dream about getting a September call up, which could make the final month of the season the most fun for fans in a tough 2019.
Most of the names you’ll see on this list are fairly obvious. Some are questionable thanks to injury concerns. And anybody not playing in Arkansas or Tacoma are so unlikely to make the jump to the big leagues in a week, we will just eliminate them. Also, any number of relievers could be recalled, so let’s simplify more and eliminate them.
We also need to remember that for every player called up who isn’t on the 40 man roster, the need to DFA somebody becomes real. Right now, the Mariners have 2 open spots on the 40 man but can create a few more spots by moving Mitch Haniger to the 60 days IL or dropping players such as Ryan Court, Matt Carasiti, or Matt Festa.’
But with all that in mind, let’s knock out some of the obvious names:
Bishop is working his way back from a lacerated kidney sustained after being hit by a pitch in the ribs in June. Bishop is just about finished with his rehab assignment and may be called up before September first.
Upon his arrival, the Mariners will probably want to manage his workload in the final month but should give him 10-12 starts in centerfield and use him as a defense replacement a handful of times as well.
Bishop never got the consistent PAs necessary in his first and second look with the Mariners, but Seattle needs to know what they have. The upside is a top of the order catalyst with Gold Glove defense, the downside is a 4th OF. Finding out which he is can only help in trade talks this winter or helping decide what his role on the 2020 team will be.
The prospect most hurt by injuries this season, Long is still working his way back from a finger injury so his call up isn’t set in stone. After beginning his big league career 0-12, Long started to find his groove at the plate, slashing .267/.353/.433 while playing a solid second base.
He was demoted when Dee Gordon was healthy and continued to crush in the PCL and appeared close to being recalled when he was hit by a pitch and broke a finger. The team had plans of using Long all over the field but he largely stuck at second base this season.
If he can return, the original plan is the best way to get him into the lineup. He may have just missed too much time to be a factor in September, but if healthy, giving him even 20 PAs could be a plus for him heading into 2020.