It’s Labour Day and it’s September 1 which means that many minor leaguers around baseball will have a double holiday as they get called up to the major leagues. Who are the Blue Jays going to call up? Read on and find out what I think.
Sparking speculation is Shi Davidi’s article on Sportsnet.ca in which he indicates that Daniel Norris is getting a call up, according to several sources. Davidi also speculates on a few other prospects including the fast-moving Kendall Graveman and lefty Sean Nolin, both of whom finished their seasons with Triple-A Buffalo.
I’m here to shoot down the likelihood of Kendall Graveman’s making it to the show to cap a whirlwhind 2014. Here’s why.
First of all, in September, the rosters expand to 40 players and all of the players must be on the team’s 40-man roster. Right now, the Blue Jays, with John Mayberry, Jr. coming over in a trade from Phillies, have 39 players on the 40-man roster. With Daniel Norris coming up (reportedly), that puts the Blue Jays at 40 players on their roster with another complication coming soon: Brandon Morrow.
Morrow has been rehabbing from his torn tendon sheath and has made successful appearances with Dunedin and Buffalo. He’s scheduled to pitch today with the Bisons (in their final game of the seasons) and will then join the Jays. Moving him off the 60-day DL will involve a roster move. I could see either Colt Hynes getting DFA’ed or Neil Wagner getting “promoted” and put on the 60-day DL (h/t to @accfanto for mentioning this possibility).
Wagner, who had Tommy John surgery earlier this year, wasn’t put on the 60-day DL because he was with the Bisons at the time of the injury. I’m not actually sure if he can be “promoted” (on paper) to the big league team and then re-DLed on the 60-day. If anyone knows about these procedures, please leave the info in the comments!
Any other call ups of players who aren’t already on the 40-man roster would involved moving someone off. I don’t see anyone getting moved off the 40-man just to get Kendall Graveman on the 40-man (since he’s not Rule 5 eligible for another two years) and in the majors to throw 10 innings. In my opinion, I think it’s a mistake to bring up Graveman now and put him on the 40-man roster in the same way that it was probably a mistake to call up Sean Nolin for a spot start last year.
Speaking of Nolin, I think that he’ll definitely get a call. He’ll give the Jays another lefty in the pen and is already on the 40-man roster, not needing any special moves to get him here. I would also expect to see Steve Delabar, Rob Rasmussen and Kyle Drabek in Toronto (among the pitchers).
Among catchers, the big question will be whether the Jays call up A.J. Jimenez to sit on the bench and soak up the sights and sounds of the majors. I think he gets the call, being healthy and active with Buffalo, but I wouldn’t expect him to play much. The Jays also have George Kottaras in Buffalo and he could get the call but would have to be put on the 40-man roster first.
Ryan Goins leads the list of infielders while Dan Johnson, who has been rehabbing in Buffalo, will also likely return to be a left-handed bat off the bench and occasionally spell Adam Lind. Anthony Gose is another no-brainer who will join Kevin Pillar. Darin Mastroianni is on the 40-man and could also return to Toronto although with the acquisition of John Mayberry, I think that Mastroianni is a candidate for a DFA.
Buffalo lineup note: None of Johnson, Jimenez, Goins or Gose are in the Bisons’ lineup today but Amy Moritz (of the Buffalo News) tweets that all of them are with the team and will travel back to Buffalo (from Syracuse) and disperse from there.
A notable omission is Dalton Pompey. The outfield is going to be crowded already and I have a feeling that the Jays will give him a rest before he heads to the Arizona Fall League.
Those are my picks: Norris, Nolin, Delabar, Rasmussen and Drabek among the pitchers and Jimenez, Goins, Johnson and Gose for the position players.
UPDATE: Well, I was wrong about that! Pompey is indeed getting called with Norris, Graveman, Nolin, Gose, Goins, Morrow, Johnson and Kottaras. Neil Wagner has already been designated for assignment but the Blue Jays will still have to clear three more spots for the remaining non-40-man roster players. Thanks to Shi Davidi for the complete, anticipated list.
Who do you think is getting the call?
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