The first few days of September are always an exciting time in Major League Baseball. Not only are the pennant races heating up to a boil, but some of your favorite team’s top prospects will be promoted as a part of September Call-Ups, an annual tradition that occurs on September 1st.
During the month of September, a major league team can carry up to 40 players on their active roster as opposed to the usual 25, which often leads to excessive matchup usage and pinch-runner specialists. This also involves the promotion of many top prospects who are reaching the majors for the very first time.
Let’s take a look at some of the New York Yankees’ potential September Call-Up candidates.
Locks (Players who will almost certainly be recalled)
Luis Severino, RHP
Despite his struggles, Luis Severino is a sure thing to be recalled upon roster expansion. Severino has looked dreadful in a starting role this year, but offers some potential out of the bullpen for the final stretch with his 96 mph fastball and nasty slider.
Rob Refsnyder, UTIL
Refsnyder has become something of a utility man this year rather than a true prospect, but that isn’t a bad thing. Refsnyder will likely see time at first, second, and third base as well as the outfield corners. He is still developing, but has a chance to stick as a Ben Zobrist-type player.
Nick Goody, RHP
Nick Goody has seen lots of time aboard the Scranton Shuttle this year. He has been both promising and inconsistent in the bigs this year, but he will undoubtedly help the Yankees’ ailing bullpen.
Kirby Yates, RHP
Yates has surprisingly spent most of this season in the Major League bullpen, albeit with mixed results. The Hawaiian native will add bullpen depth for the stretch run.
Richard Bleier, LHP
Bleier, a minor league journeyman for much of his career, finally got a shot in the bigs this season and didn’t look too out of place. He could be used either as a lefty specialist or a long man in September.
Eric Young Jr., OF
A new name to Yankee fans, Young was acquired for cash on Wednesday to serve as the Yankees’ pinch-runner specialist in September. Don’t expect to see Young batting too often, but his speed will be more than useful down the stretch.
Likely (but not guaranteed) to be Recalled
James Pazos, LHP
Pazos, who profiles more as a lefty specialist than a true shutdown reliever, spent much of the summer on the minor league DL, but is healthy now and ready to contribute. Despite only being used three times since his return, I’d expect to see Pazos on the Yankee roster.
Mason Williams, OF
The only outfielder on the 40-man roster that is not on the Yankee roster, Williams should receive the call to the bigs today. However, Williams has missed much of the past calendar year with shoulder and quad injuries. The trade of Ben Gamel likely seals Williams’ roster spot, but he still hasn’t seen a ton of live pitching over the past 12 months.
Bryan Mitchell, RHP
Big things were expected of Mitchell this season, but an untimely foot injury cost him most of this year. He’s only been pitching at the minor league level for less than a month, but Mitchell’s repertoire could be too appealing for the Yankees to pass up on.
On the 40-Man, but Unlikely to see Action
Johnny Barbato, RHP
Barbato was a fun story earlier this year, as he made the team out of Spring Training and dominated for a couple weeks. But MLB hitters caught up to him eventually, and Barbato hasn’t shown signs of improvement in AAA. His status on the 40-man could help him, though.
J.R. Graham, RHP
A veteran righty with MLB experience, the Yankees acquired Graham earlier this year in a minor trade. However, Graham has spent this entire season split between AA Trenton and the DL, which doesn’t bode well for a September Call-Up.
Minor Leaguers Who Deserve a Shot
Jonathan Holder, RHP
Holder has excelled this year in the minors since being moved to the bullpen. He impressively struck out 12 of 13 batters in his latest AAA appearance, but that’s just the latest accolade for Holder. He’s been dynamite this season, and sources are reporting that he will be recalled, despite not having a 40-man roster spot.
Kyle Higashioka, C
The Yankees already have 3 catchers on their big league roster, but we’ve seen them carry 4 at times during Septembers gone by. This year’s candidate for a promotion is Kyle Higashioka, who has slugged his way through AA and AAA. A Home Run Derby participant at the AA level, “Higgy” is Rule 5 eligible, which could result in a call-up.
Tyler Webb, LHP
The Yankees are a little short on effective left-handed pitching, and southpaw Tyler Webb could be an intriguing option. He is Rule 5 eligible and has had an excellent AAA season, so I’d expect to see Webb get a chance up with the Yankees eventually this month.
Chris Parmelee, 1B
Remember Parmelee? He had 2 homers and 4 RBI through 4 games in June before hurting his hamstring. Parmelee doesn’t really serve a purpose on the roster now with Mark Teixeira, Tyler Austin, and possibly Rob Refsnyder as first base depth, but perhaps the Yankees throw the veteran Parmelee a bone and give him some ABs.