Who'll Get The Calls to Move Up?

There are two basic reasons for pulling minor leaguers up for the September stretch.- (1), you're in the hunt for the post-season and select those who might help get you there or (2) you're playing out the season and want to see what hopefuls you have for next year.

Since the Dodgers' recent surge- mild, though it may be- has decided them that they belong in the first category, don't expect a horde to descend upon the bench when the limit goes up from 25 to 40, Saturday. They plan to be more select than that.

There are currently five players on option at Las Vegas- well, six, actually, if you count lefthander Tim Hamulack, who's out for the year. The active five are second baseman Tony Abreu, third baseman Andy LaRoche, outfielder Delwyn Young and pitchers D.J. Houlton and Eric Hull.

All have had the kind of seasons that would give them every expectation of being on the call-up list. LaRoche has had his share of physical problems- the latest being a balky back- but he's playing again and indications are he'll be one of those brought up.

Then, there's those who aren't on option but might be added to the roster- if, again,- they think anyone of them is the kind who could help, at least, somewhat. They are Wilson Valdez, shortstop Chin-lung Hu, catchers Chad Moeller and Ken Huckaby and right-hander Jon Meloan.

Of this list Meloan is the most intriguing- a relief pitcher who seems just about ready. Valdez can and does play just about everywhere but pitch and has been hitting well. Hu is close while adding an extra catcher at this time of year is always considered advisable. Huckaby's been waiting all season for such a call but they would seem to have acquired Moeller for just this sort of occasion.

There's always the feel-good story of the season- first baseman John Lindsey, who was rescued from independent ball to finally make it up to AAA after 12 years of trying. He's been busting the ball and there are those rooting for the 30-year-old to get the call. But sentiment aside, he's a longshot.

Jacksonville still has playoff hopes although they've been tattered recently. There, lefthander Greg Miller and righthander Zach Hammes are on option. So, for that matter, is lefthander Mike Megrew but he's back on the disabled list.

Miller was being considered seriously until he had another bout of wildness. He was better his last start but the need for him seems to have vanished with the acquisition of David Wells and Esteban Loaiza. Before those two came in, righthanders James McDonald and Justin Orenduff were mulled over but they'll probably have to wait until next year.