Baltimore Orioles: Full Scouting Report on Each September Call-Up
The calendar has now turned to September, and the first-place Baltimore Orioles (80-57) have already made additions to the major league club by calling up a few of their experienced veterans who were toiling away at the Triple-A level.
While the Orioles have not decided to promote any of their young prospects at this time, the experience and depth these players can provide to the club should prove useful when and if Baltimore clinches its second postseason berth in over a decade.
Let's take a look at some of the players you can expect to see take the field with the Birds this month, which include some names that fans may or may not be familiar with given that a few have yet to make an appearance with the Orioles during the regular season this year.
For the sake of limiting confusion, club regulars such as starting pitcher Kevin Gausman and relief pitcher T.J. McFarland were left out of the list considering they were just recently absent from the parent club for a numbers reason only.
Quintin Berry, OF, Triple-A Norfolk
Signed to a minor league deal in January, outfielder Quintin Berry has put together an excellent season down in Norfolk.
In 110 games, the savvy veteran has been exceptional at the plate and had an eye-popping month of May that saw the left-hander hit for an average of .341.
On the year, Berry has produced a triple slash line of .285/.382/.367, swiped 25 bags and totaled 23 extra-base hits in 432 plate appearances.
Berry has displayed superb fielding ability as well, as he has only committed three errors on the season and holds a fielding percentage of .989.
With his combination of hitting ability, fielding ability and speed, Berry is an excellent depth addition to the Orioles outfield.
Evan Meek, RP, Triple-A Norfolk
Having pitched to the tune of a 7.02 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 16 appearances out of the pen, it's easy to forget that this ex-Pittsburgh Pirate was actually an All-Star during the 2010 season.
Meek has been very successful, though, in the past two months with the Triple-A club, establishing a 2.19 ERA in July in which he gave up only three earned runs in 12.1 innings pitched and a clean sheet in August by tossing 10 scoreless innings and striking out nine.
While it's clear that Meek has been working on things and has regained some lost confidence in the process, it's unlikely that he'll see much action going forward unless the game is out of hand on either side of the scoreboard and manager Buck Showalter wants to save his more valuable bullpen arms.
Steve Clevenger, C, Triple-A Norfolk
Given the fact that most teams bring up a third catcher when rosters expand in September, it's no surprise to see Steve Clevenger's name on the list of call-ups.
Known more as an offensive catcher than a defensive one, Clevenger had a solid .300 on-base percentage before being sent down at the end of May.
Since then, he has demolished the competition at the Triple-A level, hitting for an average just north of .300 and accruing an excellent on-base percentage of .365.
While Clevenger doesn't provide the pop at the dish that fellow backstop Caleb Joseph does, he could provide a solid option in relief of Joseph and Nick Hundley as a slap-hitter.
Ryan Webb, RP, Triple-A Norfolk
While reliever Ryan Webb pitched exceptionally well for the majority of the season, his July nosedive resulted in an 11.37 ERA and a demotion to the Triple-A club.
Unlike Meek, however, Webb hasn't been able to fix his issues and regain the form for which the Orioles bought into with a two-year, $4.5 million deal in the offseason.
In 11.1 innings pitched since his demotion, Webb has struggled to the tune of a 4.76 ERA and a 1.324 WHIP.
Like Meek, though, Webb most likely won't see playing time initially, but he needs to step up in order to instill confidence in Showalter that he can be relied upon in the postseason.
Joe Saunders, RP, Triple-A Norfolk
In his previous stint with the Orioles in 2012, Saunders was very efficient, as he allowed 18 earned runs in 44.2 innings pitched that resulted in a 3.63 ERA during the regular season.
However, as a major leaguer with Texas this season, Saunders was a hitter's dream, as he possessed an opponent batting average of .356 and an opponent on-base percentage of .419 in eight games.
Since arriving in Norfolk in the beginning of August, Saunders has shut teams down coming on in relief.
The lefty pitched to a total of 12 solid innings consisting of just two earned runs for an ERA of 1.50 and has limited opposing batters to just .250 for the stretch.
Saunders's days as a starter seem to be all but done, but he could provide the Orioles with yet another valuable lefty reliever.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted.