For the Philadelphia Phillies, this year's September call-ups will likely take on a different meaning.
In the past, the Phillies used their September call-ups to bolster the team with needs they believed had to be filled before penciling in the final playoff roster. This year however playoffs are not on the radar and as a result, the way Ruben Amaro and company view their roster additions will be much different.
It is unlikely Amaro and the Phils will make many call-ups based on the fact that so many of their position spots for next year already have guys auditioning for the roles. There are several players such as Eric Kratz (back-up catcher) and Kevin Frandsen (starting 3B) that have shown they at least deserve a chance to fight to earn these roles in spring training. There are others still such as Domonic Brown who has shown improvement and who the organization really hopes can be the starting left fielder.
Essentially, the team has a lot on its plate when it comes to talent evaluation and as Amaro has said and demonstrated in the past, he will not bring up players if the team does not have plans to get them significant playing time.
For the Phillies this really does not leave many spots open for September auditions. Just like last season when just five players got called up to the major league roster, a similar situation could occur this year.
While it is necessary that Amaro looks at what he currently has in the farm system, the patterns of the team in the past have shown that there isn't always willingness to call-up some of their prospects because being added to the 40-man roster officially starts their major league clock in terms of arbitration dues.
That said there are a few players already on the 40-man roster that the Phillies would benefit from giving a second look. There are also two other notable names that would certainly be worth adding to the 40-man roster just so the team can see if their minor league success can translate to the major league level.
Going off of last year's model of just five call-ups, here are the five September call-ups the Phillies are likely to make in 2012.