13 Baseball Players We're Shocked Didn't Get Called Up on Sept. 1
It's not exactly a huge shock when top September call-up candidates don't get called up on the first day of eligibility for expansion of the rosters.
It is a little shocking when their parent club makes other moves and chooses to leave some top prospects in the minor leagues, however. Not all clubs make a move on the first day of eligibility, though.
On Aug. 25, Bleacher Report's Jeffrey Beckman outlined the "30 Best Possible September Call-Ups." Several of the players he outlined are sure to make an appearance at some point this September, although there are likely to be a few snubs.
For the sake of this article, I excluded players whose clubs made no call-ups today. There are certainly some high-profile players who should be called up as soon as their clubs start to make some moves.
With that said, here are the top 13 players that will spend at least a few more days, if not longer, in the minors.
Pedro Alvarez: Pittsburgh Pirates
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Pedro Alvarez has had a pair of stints in the majors this season already, but failed to get the call on the first day of September.
The Pirates instead promoted Jason Jaramillo and Brian Burres.
In 56 big-league games, Alvarez is batting just .196 with three homers. He batted a more respectable .270 in Triple-A, though, and is still just 24 years old.
He'll probably have another small stint with the Pirates before the season ends.
Clint Robinson: Kansas City Royals
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Clint Robinson has had a very successful 2011 season in Triple-A for the Royals.
He has put together a .327/.401/.537 batting line with 23 homers and 99 RBI.
The Royals did make a September call-up today, promoting Jesse Chavez instead of Robinson.
The 26-year-old first baseman is on the 40-man roster and deserves a shot to make his Major League debut, though, and will likely be up very soon.
Neil Ramirez: Texas Rangers
Neil Ramirez has put together an impressive run through the Rangers minor league system in 2011.
At Triple-A Round Rock, Ramirez has a 4-3 record with a 3.68 ERA and 10.4 K/9 ratio.
As Bleacher Report's Jeffrey Beckman speculated, Ramirez would likely be used in a relief role the rest of the season if he earns a call-up, something he certainly deserves.
The Rangers chose to promote Esteban German and Merkin Valdez today instead of Ramirez.
Keep watching the transaction wire; although a move would need to be made in order to add him to the 40-man roster, you'll probably still see his name before the season is complete.
Alex Liddi: Seattle Mariners
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Alex Liddi has put together a powerful minor-league campaign in 2011, knocking 28 homers out of the park for the Mariners Triple-A affiliate.
He is the Mariners' third baseman of the future, and the 22-year-old is looking like he is ready for his next challenge.
The Mariners instead made a roster move today to promote Shawn Kelley and Cesar Jimenez.
I doubt the Mariners would wait until spring training to give Liddi an extended look, so odds are good he'll be called up sooner rather than later.
Manny Banuelos: New York Yankees
I suppose that it shouldn't have come as a shock that Manny Banuelos was not promoted.
The Yankees reportedly have decided not to promote Banuelos this year.
Banuelos put himself on the map this spring training with an impressive outing against the Boston Red Sox.
The lefty entered the season rated the No. 41 prospect by Baseball America and completed the 2011 season with a pitching line of 6-7 with a 3.45 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A.
Plenty of Yankee fans, and some non-Yankee fans, were interested to see what he could do if given the opportunity to pitch in a pennant race in September.
We'll all have to wait until spring to see him pitch against MLB hitters again.
Jose Iglesias: Boston Red Sox
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Jose Iglesias definitely still needs to develop his bat a little further, something evidenced by his .233 batting average and .279 slugging percentage in Triple-A this season.
Iglesias is an excellent defensive shortstop, though, and prior to this season, he had hit well at each level of the minors.
He is the Red Sox shortstop of the future and would make a fine late-innings defensive replacement for Boston.
The only call-up the Red Sox made today was the promotion of Felix Doubront. There will certainly be more reinforcements headed to Boston. I'd expect Iglesias to be one of them.
Jake Odorizzi: Kansas City Royals
Admittedly, Jake Odorizzi would have been a long shot for a September call-up anyway, since he has not pitched in Triple-A yet during his career.
Odorizzi, acquired in the Zach Greinke trade, stood a shot, though, at seeing some time in a brief audition to determine how much more seasoning he may need before being ready to join the Royals' rotation.
He compiled a 9-7 record and a 3.92 ERA across two levels of the minors this season.
Mat Gamel: Milwaukee Brewers
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With the uncertainty of Prince Fielder's future with Milwaukee, I expect Mat Gamel to get a call-up and some at-bats while playing first base this September.
He had a very impressive Triple-A season, batting .320 with 28 homers.
I was a little surprised that he wasn't called up on the first day of eligibility today.
The Brewers did make a pair of call-ups, selecting Martin Maldonado and Logan Schafer.
Matt Dominguez: Florida Marlins
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Matt Dominguez did not overwhelm with the bat in Triple-A this season, but he is still the Marlins' third baseman of the future (perhaps as soon as opening day 2012).
I expect the Marlins to give him a long look this September to build experience and confidence heading into spring training next year.
Dominguez is an excellent defensive third baseman, and at the bare minimum should see time as a late-inning defensive replacement.
A roster move will need to be made to free up a spot on the 40-man roster for Dominguez before he can be called up.
The Marlins did make a move today and promoted Sandy Rosario on the first day of eligibility.
Jerry Sands: Los Angeles Dodgers
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Although not called up on Sept. 1, Jerry Sands will certainly find his way back to Los Angeles before this month is over.
He was called up for 41 games earlier in the season, although his stats are forgettable.
In the minors, he put together a more impressive line of .287/.351/.600 with 28 homers.
Sands, 23, could be the answer in the Dodgers outfield if the team is forced to part with either Andre Ethier or (although highly unlikely) Matt Kemp.
The Dodgers promoted Russell Mitchell and Dana Eveland on the first day rosters could expand today.
Shelby Miller: St. Louis Cardinals
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Shelby Miller has little left to prove in the minor leagues and should definitely contend to be in the Cardinals starting rotation to begin 2012.
That said, I am definitely surprised the Cardinals didn't bring up right away as they try to make the improbable climb back into contention (currently 7.5 games back of the Brewers).
Miller had a combined 10-6 record and 2.94 ERA in the minors this year. His strikeout ratio was 11.0 K/9.
He hasn't made the jump to Triple-A yet, but with his stuff and his stats this year, you could definitely see why he could be headed to St. Louis for a look this September.
The Cardinals would need to make a roster move to free up a spot on the 40-man roster in order to add Miller.
Perhaps I let my wishful thinking that I'd get to see one of the top pitching prospects in baseball cloud the reality that he may still be a year away.
Julio Teheran: Atlanta Braves
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Julio Teheran had a brief stint with the Braves earlier this season, appearing in two games and posting a 5.19 ERA.
The 20-year-old, rated the fifth-best prospect entering the season by Baseball America, had a very impressive Triple-A season, though.
In 23 games started (24 total appearances), he had a 15-2 record and a 2.22 ERA.
Teheran would be a potential impact arm in the bullpen down the stretch for the Braves.
The Braves did call up J.C. Boscan and Anthony Varvaro today.
Matt Moore: Tampa Bay Rays
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Matt Moore earned his promotion to Triple-A this season and dominated his eight starts.
He put together a 3-0 record with a sparkling 1.35 ERA for the Durham Bulls.
I can't imagine the Rays won't promote him this month, there is simply nothing left for him to prove in the minors and they may as well see if he can carry over his momentum to the major league level rather than wait until spring.
The Rays did promote Brandon Guyer today, but they'll catch my attention when Moore earns his promotion.