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Reds 2014 September Call-Ups: Who, Why, and How.

I think Walt needs to bust open the Tool Shed.

Sarah Glenn

As August nears to a close we approached a date in the season that was always been very exciting for me, at least it was in the 2000's.  Other than opening day, I waited for an opportunity to see some prospects get the call-up and see what they can do on the big stage.  I'm a huge prospects nerd, and I'm always curious to see how they can perform in September.  You run into many teams that are playing for paychecks and just to finish the season, but with the new playoff rules a lot of teams are still playing for September.  In my opinion, the Reds are all but out of it and might as well call up everyone they can.  This will still be one of the most boring September callups ever, but that's because most of the Reds big prospects are at AA or below.  Remember the year you could bitch that we didn't get to see phenom Jay Bruce in September?

The rules for September call-ups are pretty simple.  If they are on the 40 man roster, they can be called up in September to finish out the final tilt of the season in the major leagues.  To better explain, I'll add a few points.

  • For a player to be called up, he must be on the 40 man roster.
  • Any player can be added to the 40 man roster and called up.
  • There is no deadline to call up players.
  • There is no rule stating how many players you have to call up, and no rule stating that you have to call up certain players. You can roll with 25 if you really want.
  • Any player optioned down to the minors within ten days prior to the call-ups must still wait the full ten days. That is unless there is an injury.
  • A player who is a September call-up will accrue service time.
  • If a player is added to the 40 man roster and called up, he does not use an option for the current season.
  • Obviously, players on the 60 day DL do not count towards the 40 man roster.

Cincinnati is in a weird spot.  With the second wild card spot they are not completely eliminated from the playoffs.  It would take one hell of a run, but with Bob, Walt, and company calling the shots who knows what they will ask the team to do.  They also only have 39 guys on the 40 man roster, and that could go down to 38 if they put Cingrani on the 60 day DL.  It is also dependent on if Joey Votto returns.  I'd say that isn't happening.  There is no reason for him to play this last month.

*Quick Edit*  Apparently, the Reds filled the 40 man when they put Villareal on the 40 man roster and cut Chad Rogers off.  This quite honestly screwed up this article, but go ahead and read it anyway.  It doesn't affect guys that are already on the 40 man, just some of the hopefuls that would like a call up and placement.

The minor league season ends this weekend, and neither the Louisville Bats nor Pensacola Blue Wahoos are in position for the playoffs.  Teams usually start adding September call-ups a with in couple of days after their minor league seasons are finished.  There is only one team that could affect September call-ups and that is Bakersfield, and should a player who has never played above A+ even matter?  We'll talk about that more below.

  • Dylan Axelrod - Axelrod pitched the double header game against Colorado and faired pretty well. He is currently on the 40 man roster, but not on the active roster. Being a former MLB pitcher, and probably wanting to show case what he can do, the Reds will call up him up. I'd assume he could get some spot starts or just appear out of the bullpen. Chances: 90-100%
  • Tony Cingrani - Tony Spaghetti has been on the AAA DL since he left Cincinnati. He is currently active on the 40 man roster. If he is transferred to the 60 day DL, they could call someone else up. He would start to accrue service time, though. Chances: Not Happening
  • Carlos Contreras - He was pitching pretty well for Cincinnati if you ignore his ERA or BB/9, but hurt himself and I wouldn't be surprised to see him land on the DL. I really have no clue, though. If put on the 60 man that would add another spot to the 40. The Reds won't do this if they think he can pitch some time again this year. Chances: 50%?
  • David Holmberg - Again, as long as he isn't hurt again (he probably just sucks), he'll be called up. We traded excellent pitching framing for him, and the Reds will want to get him an extended look. Plus, his innings are down because of injury. He'd probably just be bullpen help. Chances: 80-90%
  • JJ Hoover - JJ was demoted in favor of Skip Schumaker (2014'd), but as far as I know he isn't hurt or anything. I'm sure they'll bring him back up in September, but maybe they'll keep him down and tell him to pack it in for the season. It's been a rough year for Hoovs, and maybe just getting some rest will help him. Chances: 75%
  • Raisel Iglesias - He's on the 40 man, but hasn't pitched in months. He's been working on things in Arizona, but Reds fans won't see him until Spring Training. Chances: 0%
  • Curtis Partch - Partch has the road from Louisville to Cincinnati well traveled. He'll be called back up in September. Chances: 100%
  • Ismael Guillon - Guillon is the wildcard from Bakersfield. He pitched in Dayton this year, too. In Dayton he was pretty good. In Bakersfield he was horrible. He has really good stuff, but typically has no idea where the pitch is going. I believe next year is his last option year, and it would be a good opportunity to see what the lefty can do from the bullpen. He's never pitched above A+, though. Chances: 10%
  • Tucker Barnhart - The one and only. He has also been traveling from Louisville to Cincytown quite often. He's the only other catcher on the 40 man. He's a lock, and the Reds probably need him. Chances: 100%
  • Jake Elmore - He had a total of 78 PA for Louisville, and I know nothing about him. He's on the 40 man and that's all I know. The Reds could call him up. He has some ML experience. Chances: I don't know and don't really care.
  • Donald Lutz - He's done it before. Chances: 100%
  • Neftali Soto - Why not? Chances: 100%
  • Stormin' Yorman Rodriguez - He has spent the entire season in Pensacola, and fluctuated between good, bad, God awful, and now is tearing the cover off the ball. He's another guy that is running out of options, and the Reds should probably get a look at him. He's the only player I'm excited to see. Hopefully, Walt pulls the trigger, but I'm not so sure. Chances: 50%
  • Juan Duran - Duran is known for his prodigious power and his ability to miss any pitch. The former is why he was given $2,000,000 when he was 16, and the latter is why he may never be a major leaguer. He isn't the same kind of player as Rodriguez, but if he ever puts it together could make a good power corner outfielder. I think the chances of him being called up are less, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. I think his lack of contact abilities will keep Walt from giving Duran the chance of being exposed.  Chances: 10%
Players Not On 40 Man, But Could Get The Call

I'm not going to speculate on chances because it is entirely dependent on what Walt wants to do with the 40 man roster.  These seem like the guys most likely.  Mostly, its because adding them to the 40 man doesn't matter, and the Reds won't care about their options/service clock.

Rey Navarro INF - He is probably the most deserving.  He's only 24 years old and spent time with Pensacola and Louisville this year.  In both places he excelled with a .794 OPS in AA, and a .757 OPS in Louisville.  I'll be pretty mad if he isn't the guy added to the final spot of the 40 man.  It wouldn't even mean a move for Walt.  You just add the guy. Scratch that, Walt has to shake some moves.

Ruben Gotay INF - He hit .255/.334/.406 in Louisville this year, but he did hit 17 home runs.  It's entirely possible that Walt would want to get a closer look, but we would already have a bunch of infielders on the roster and I want Navarro first.

Nick Christiani INF - He's been on the 40 man before, and has spent limited time in Cincinnati.  The coaching staff seems to really like him, but he would have to be added.  I don't really see it unless they feel they need another pitcher.

Felix Perez OF - The Reds signed him out of Cuba a number of years ago, and he is 30 years old.  He's hit well in Louisville, and if the Reds ever want to see what they have out of him this would be a decent time.  I could see a scenario where the Reds add him to the 40 man and don't call up Duran or Yorman.  However, I want to see Yorman and I can't be any more adamant about that.

I tried to look for others, but couldn't really find any that I thought made sense.  If you'd like to argue for a player listed, or would like to add your own, please add it in the comments.

Aaron's September Call Up Prediction

Dylan Axelrod

David Holmberg

JJ Hoover

Curtis Patch

Tucker Barnhart

Donald Lutz

Neftali Soto

Yorman Rodriguez

Rey Navarro (Votto Stays on the 60 Day DL)

Felix Perez (Cingrani goes to the 60 Day DL)