Baltimore Orioles: Where Do September Call-Ups Fit in 2013 Roster Plans?
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
September is the time of the year when young, talented players get one last shot at the major league team before heading back to their homes, or travel to winter leagues to keep in shape, until the preseason workouts begin in February.
Currently, the Black and Orange sit just one and a half out of first place, a 0.5 game in front of the Athletics for the lead in the Wild Card and 2.0 games up on the surging Angels for the second Wild Card spot.
This season, the Orioles have used a number of call-ups to fill the voids left due to injuries, or just a need for a position player/pitcher. For example, the 20-year-old Manny Machado has already made a name for himself at the major league level, and it looks as he will not return to the minor leagues for the rest of his career.
However, there have been some September call-ups who have turned heads and are in the future plans for the Birds.
Check out the list and see when your favorite September call-up will be joining the Birds for the long-term in the coming 2013 season.
Photo courtesy of Greg Fiume/Getty Images.
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Showalter brought Bundy in with the Birds down 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th inning with a runner on. The flame-throwing 19-year-old retired both hitters he faced on just seven pitches, after inducing a couple of fly ball outs.
Last night, he pitched his first full inning at the major league level against the Jays. He surrendered his first base hit and also issued his first walk. However, he made it out of the frame unscathed.
If the Birds make the playoffs, and it seems as if they will in some capacity, look for Bundy to be used primarily out of the pen. Although he has been a starter most of his career, Showalter understands the pressure surrounding him and I don’t think he will use him in such a tight situation.
Next year, however, is a new year. I think Bundy will return to the minors to start the 2013 season at Double-A Bowie where he left off this year. At the minor league level, before being called up, he went 9-3 with an impressive 2.08 ERA.
The fourth overall pick from the most recent MLB draft will be one of the future stars of the Orioles young starting rotation, he just needs some time to develop.
Showalter and the organization brought him up this September to get his feet wet and see how he will handle it. By no means will he be on the Opening Day roster, but I think he will officially get the call to the majors come the middle of the season, depending how he fares next year.
Photo courtesy of J. Meric/Getty Images.
J. Meric/Getty Images
"We think L.J. at some point has a chance to impact us and help us," manager Buck Showalter told MASN.com. "It's more than just letting him get his feet on the ground and taking a look at him in this environment."
That said, Showalter isn't asking Hoes to be the key piece that gets the Orioles into the playoffs. "I'm not going through it with rose-colored glasses," he said. "Every player we have and every manager, every coach, has faults and strengths. He deserved to come up here in the capacity that we needed."
I think this quote sums up the Birds’ attitude towards L.J. Hoes. At some point, he will be a major impact player for the Orioles as an outfielder. However, he could have a tough go at it over the next couple of seasons.
No question Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have their positions set for next year, and Nate McLouth has been one of the key components in the Orioles’ winning September. So, next year could be a possibility.
In the minor leagues between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, he batted .287 with five home runs and 20 stolen bases with a .759 OPS. There’s no doubt he can cause havoc on the bases and is a great defender.
Although I do not see the 22-year-old making the roster out of the Spring, Hoes will definitely be part of the 2013 Orioles in some capacity. Most likely, he will spend half of the season in the minors and get the call in July or August, unless he is needed beforehand due to an injury.
So far, he has made it into one game defensively on the year after getting the call last week (still has not debuted at the dish).
Photo courtesy of Jorge Lemus/Getty Images.
Jorge Lemus/Getty Images
Entering this year, I thought he would be one of the major relievers out of the pen. However, Pedro Strop, who was picked up around the same time, really took the lead and made a name for himself early in the season.
Phillips spent most of the season at the minor league level. With the Norfolk Tides, he posted a 2-2 record with an impressive 3.17 ERA in 42 outings. Over his 54 innings pitched, he surrendered 19 earned runs on 56 base hits, including just one home run and 45 strikeouts.
The southpaw posted strong numbers in Triple-A, however, he has struggled a bit with the big club.
On the year, over his six outings, he’s tossed six innings, allowed four earned runs on seven base hits, including two home runs already.
Although he has not pitched as well out of the pen this September, he is one of the Birds’ top relievers from the minors right now. Last year, he allowed just one earned run over 8.0 innings of work as he finished the year with the Birds.
There is no doubt that Phillips will be a part of the 2013 Orioles’ roster, and depending upon who the Orioles lose this offseason, reliever-wise, will impact when he gets called up to the majors.
I would say he has a chance at making the Orioles’ opening day roster. The Birds need a strong left-hander out of the pen, and Troy Patton has been the rock all year long. We’ll see if Patton stays, and if the Birds need another southpaw.
If he does not begin the year at the major league level, there is no doubt that he will be called up at some point during the middle of the year.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Gross/Getty Images.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The 22-year-old speed demon outfielder, Xavier Avery, has been up and down at the major league level this season. In 30 games with the Birds, he is batting .223 (21-for-94) with one home run, six RBI and six stolen bases in nine attempts.
Although Avery has made the trek from the minors to the majors a couple of times this year, he has been used primarily as a pinch-runner or a defensive replacement.
Unfortunately, I do not think he will be a major factor in the 2013 Orioles. I’m sure he will make the team at some point next season. However, there is not much of a chance for him to make the team out of the Spring.
I can see him being called up half-way through the season, just to be demoted and recalled again throughout.
Currently, the Orioles have a strong outfield, and especially with Hoes in the future, and the possibility of Nolan Reimold returning next year, there is not much space for Avery.
Photo courtesy of Mitchell Layton/Getty Images.
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
The former Boston farmhand Luis Exposito has not seen much playing time this year as he is the back-up to Orioles’ backup catcher Taylor Teagarden.
In nine games this season, he is 1-for-18 with three walks and two runs.
He has not had that much playing time, as Matt Wieters has proved he is one of the best young catchers in the game today, and he does not need to take too many days off.
I do not really see Exposito as a major factor in the 2013 season unfortunately. Teagarden has done a great job as a backup and it doesn’t look like he is going anywhere.
However, who knows, if Teagarden does not return next year, Exposito could be Wieters’ backup. I think that will be the only way he will make the club next year. I think he will be another September call-up come next year.
Photo courtesy of Rob Carr/Getty Images.
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Like Avery, the 28-year-old utility man Steve Tolleson has been up and down throughout the 2012 season. With the Birds, he is batting .183 with two home runs and six RBI over his 29 games (13-for-71).
This past weekend in Boston, he picked up his first double and triple of his career. However, I do not see him in the plans for next season until the end of the year again unfortunately.
The Orioles have a very strong infield, and he is the weakest link. Although they have not given him the opportunity to prove himself over an extended amount of time, I think they are happy with the corner positions they currently have.
I think he will be used throughout the season, but he will not be a mainstay with the Birds.
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