Players to Watch For In September
We are a little less than two weeks away from the beginning of September, when Major League rosters expand and we get to see a lot of new faces get their crack at some big league experience.
This is an interesting time for Milwaukee, being a little less than 20 games out of their division and hopelessly treading water behind nearly the whole Senior Circuit in the Wild Card race, there is little to lose with some more experimentation on the starting nine.
Today we take a look at some of the possible September Call-ups and what, if any, difference they could make for the squad.
De Los Santos came to us in the trade for George Kottaras near the deadline. He’s still a fairly raw reliever, but has decent stuff and has been in the league since 2006, with two previous call-ups with the A’s in 2011 and 2012. He already has Major League experience, with 40 games under his belt and a 3-4 record. Oddly enough, his 4.21 career ERA puts him below the bullpen ERA for Milwaukee this season, so things couldn’t turn out worse by giving him some space to work out of there.
With Kottaras gone, some value ought to be made out of that transaction. Although the last two games have seen good performances out of the ‘pen, more options could mean more confidence for the Brewers coaching staff, and getting De Los Santos to work out some of his kinks at the Major League level could benefit everyone in the long-term.
Chances: 75% – I think he should get the nod due to his depth of experience, but the team may think he’s still too loose to give him a shot.
I’ll skip the big-time introductions, because if you’re a Brewers fan you’ve known about the hard-throwing 23 year-old for a while now. Peralta had all of one inning in The Show in his career, a late April appearance thanks to injury that saw him strike out one and give up three hits and an earned run. After that, it was back down to AAA Nashville to continue on the path of becoming a future starter with the parent club. He’s had a bit of a rough go of it in 2012, pitching to a 6-10 record with a 4.75 ERA, but he has fanned 128 batters and is 4-2 with a 2.75 ERA in his last ten starts.
It’s tough to say where his future lies in 2012. Just kidding, the big club totally wants this kid, and bringing him into the roster in September for relief and possibly a spot-start depending on injuries is nearly a given. Do not be surprised to see him down the stretch.
Chances: 95% – He doesn’t have a lot of experience, but it’s well known he’s seen as part of the future of the Brewers. I’d be very surprised not to see him pitch.
Tyler is an interesting case, because he has already been up and down a few times for Milwaukee,
where he showed a lot of potential as a starter and ran into some roadblocks as part of the bullpen.
This is precisely why I think he stands pat in Nashville for the remainder of 2012. The club wants him to ‘stretch out’ as a starter, and there simply is not room to do that on the Major League club. The best place for Thornburg is AAA, where he can hone his stuff for the rest of the year, and get a shot to compete come Spring Training. A lot of pitching pieces have the potential to move in the off-season, so he’d have a strong shot at 2013.
Chances: Less than 50% – There’s simply no need to confuse his mechanics and routine by pulling him back to the ‘pen. Injuries and happenstance aside, I think he stays put.
Eric Farris and Scooter Gennett
Eric Farris has been quietly working his way up the ranks since he came on to the scene in 2007. He has a career .287 average in the Minors, and has seen short stints at second base with the Brewers mainly in Spring Training. He performs well on both sides of the ball, and given a real chance to play could turn into a productive member of a lineup.
Scooter is the same way, but with a higher ceiling than Farris in many people’s opinions, despite being under sized. He’s a true contact hitter with good speed around the bases and a deft glove. Gennett is the future second baseman in the Brewers, and many fans have been watching him intently since he first showed on the radar with the Timber Rattlers.
Chances: About 25% – They’re both blocked by Rickie Weeks. The organization has too much tied up in Rickie to take him out, and they are vocally pleased with his second-half turnaround. It’s a shame for these two players, but money wins out in this case.
When talking about Brewers call-ups, it’s hard not to mention Taylor Green’s name as part of the deal. Green has been up and down with the Brewers for the last two seasons, waiting for a chance to get regular playing time with the team. Fortune has not favored the 25 year-old, however, as his shot in 2011 netted only a .198 average in 44 games at the Major League level. He did hit his first two Brewer home runs this year, and drove in ten runs. His place on the Brewers long-term depends on the future of Ramirez almost entirely, and as long as Ramy keeps swinging the way that he has, there’s no telling how long Taylor might be waiting in the wings.
Chances: Less than 25% – There’s no real need for Green to be up as long as Hart and Ishikawa can handle first, Segura and Ransom are holding down short, and Ramirez can keep himself in the lineup at third.
Look for Milwaukee to turn pitcher-heavy down the stretch in September, as the bullpen is biggest piece of the puzzle. There’s little the team needs to do offensively that can’t be remedied by the members of the active roster as it stand right now. What will be more fruitful for the Brewers would be a