Projecting Cards September Call-Ups: Part Two

Concluding a two-part report, Brian Walton explains why eight players may receive a final-month promotion to St. Louis.

In Part one of this report, we looked at number of factors that could play into the St. Louis Cardinals' decision as to how many players and which ones will be added to the Major League club in September.

 

These factors include the Cardinals' 40-man roster situation, the roster needs of the MLB club as well as St. Louis' past history in September additions. Another consideration, the results of the player this season, will be considered below.

 

There are at least 22 players worthy of some level of discussion. They are named in the table below. The numbers in parentheses denote the number of players from each position that I believe are likely to be called up (discussed in Part one).

 

Also players are identified as those with Major League time this season and those currently on the 40-man roster. A "yes" in the first two columns indicates that player has a better chance of a September call.

 

The final column, "Loss risk", is relevant to the nine players that are not yet on the 40-man roster. "Yes" indicates the seven that will need to be added by this fall or the player could leave for one of three reasons: having been outrighted twice, a six-year minor league free agent or by being eligible for and being taken in December's Rule 5 draft. Three "no's" makes a September call up extremely low odds.

 

My eight call-up selections are listed in bold. Explanations follow the table.

 

Pos MLB 2009 40-man Loss risk
Pitchers (4)
Mitchell Boggs * RHS yes yes
P.J. Walters RHS yes yes
Blake Hawksworth * RHS yes yes
Josh Kinney RHR yes yes
Matt Scherer RHR no yes
Jaime Garcia LHS no yes
Royce Ring LHR no no yes
Evan MacLane LHS no no yes
Mike Parisi RHS no no yes
Catcher (1)
Matt Pagnozzi C no no yes
Infielders (2)
Jarrett Hoffpauir 2B yes yes
Allen Craig UT no no yes
Tyler Greene SS yes yes
Brian Barden SS yes no yes
Daniel Descalso 2B no no no
David Freese 3B yes yes
Mark Hamilton 1B no no yes
Troy Glaus 3B no yes
Outfielders (1)
Nick Stavinoha OF yes yes
Shane Robinson OF yes yes
Jon Jay OF no no no
Joe Mather OF no yes
* currently with StL

 

Pitchers (four)

 

It seems like at any point during the season, no more than one or two of the first four pitchers on the above list have been with St. Louis (Mitchell Boggs, P.J. Walters, Blake Hawksworth and Josh Kinney). As I type this, only Hawksworth's spot seems relatively firm, though he was joined by Boggs at least for a spot start on Tuesday. The others also have very good cases for inclusion, which I accept. I will assume one will already be up at the end of the month and three would need to be added.

 

My fourth extra pitcher is also the only left-hander on the list, rehabbing Jaime Garcia. I suspect the Cardinals would like to gauge his progress and potential to compete for a 2010 rotation spot, though he would surely pitch in relief this September. If Garcia is not ready, experienced MLB reliever Royce Ring would get my nod.

 

Matt Scherer and the rehabbing Mike Parisi will have to wait until next year. Lefty Evan MacLane has been a nice addition for Memphis, eating innings and pitching decent ball. However, he does not seem to be in the Major League plans.

 

Catchers (one)

 

Despite the fact Matt Pagnozzi is not on the 40-man and has no MLB experience, the season-ending injury to Bryan Anderson means he has no viable competition.

 

Infielders (two)

 

This is a tougher call, as Jarrett Hoffpauir did well in his short audition and continues to play good ball for Memphis. However, because Tyler Greene has spent more time in the bigs and is considered a better prospect, he gets my nod.

 

David Freese has been injured much of the season, but has come back strongly and needs to show he can compete for the third base job in 2010. I think he will be given that chance in September.

 

Mark Hamilton, Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and Brian Barden, the latter just taken off the 40-man, have no reasonable chance of being added to the 40-man and getting the call this season.

 

If somehow Troy Glaus proves he can hit, I see him as a special case. If ready, I would project him as the ninth addition, not taking anyone else's spot.

 

Outfielders (one)

 

Shane Robinson had a brief cameo in St. Louis, but Nick Stavinoha has been the defacto fifth outfielder all season long and as such, is my choice. Like Descalso, Jon Jay doesn't need to be added to the 40-man this year and won't.

 

Joe Mather would like to return in September, but is fighting a very difficult battle against the reality of the calendar. Like Parisi, having not yet even started a rehab assignment, it is most likely too late for Joey Bombs in 2009.

 

Timing

 

In terms of timing, the relievers (Kinney and Garcia/Ring) could be spared most easily by the Redbirds prior to their season ending. Losing Greene, Freese or Stavi would hurt run production but there are other alternatives on the Memphis roster. There seems a chance one or more of them could be called up before the Redbirds are done.

 

On the other hand, removing top starters Boggs, Walters and/or Hawksworth plus the Redbirds' number one catcher Pagnozzi would seriously hamper the conclusion of Memphis' season and/or playoffs. As such, I see this group coming last.

 

In summary

 

Again, here are my eight picks as September call-ups. Only one, catcher Matt Pagnozzi, would need to be added to the organization's 40-man roster. If Ring is the lefty instead of Garcia, he would be the second. As noted in Part one, the Cardinals currently have three openings.

 

Pitchers (4): Mitchell Boggs, P.J. Walters, Josh Kinney, (or Blake Hawksworth if he is sent down between now and then and one of the others replaces him) and Jaime Garcia/Royce Ring

 

Catcher (1): Matt Pagnozzi

 

Infielders (2): Tyler Greene, David Freese

 

Outfielder (1): Nick Stavinoha

 

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

 

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