Also, the Omaha Stormchasers are locked in an epic playoff battle (despite having a losing record! Wait, is that Dayton’s plan for the Royals?) Teams generally like to keep minor league playoff teams together for a post-season run, although we may see a bullpen arm or two come up for depth.
Let’s take a look at who might be called up and what we might expect from them. This is an update of this piece a few weeks ago by antiwabang. I recommend you read that piece as well.
Players on the 40 Man Major League Roster, but not on the active 25 Man Roster These players may be called up from the minors, but to be sent back down next spring (if necessary) they must either burn an option year, or if they are out of option years, be designated for assignment and clear waivers.
P Noel Arguelles – Noel is only on the 40 man roster as a provision of signing a Major League contract. He has been a disaster this year, walking more than he strikes out, tossing in the mid-80s to little effect. The sooner the Royals can get rid of him, the better.
P Francisely Bueno – Bueno has pitched well in a few very limited stints with the Royals the last two seasons. He is a lefty and the team might want to get a long look at him to determine if he’s a candidate for the bullpen next spring.
P Maikel Cleto – Cleto has been fairly effective in Omaha since the Royals acquired him, albeit a bit wild. He has had three short stints in the big leagues before with the Cardinals, so it would make sense for the Royals to get a look at him this September to determine if he’s a serious candidate for the bullpen next year. Still just 25, Cleto could be a darkhorse for the pen in 2014.
P Louis Coleman – Coleman might be one of the better relievers in another MLB pen, but he seems stuck in the numbers game in Kansas City. He has been lights out in 23 innings, allowing just one run for the Royals and was sent down merely as a procedural move.
P Wade Davis – Sending him down was merely a procedural move. He was sent to Wilmington because their season ends on Tuesday and Davis can immediately come right back, whereas if he was sent to Omaha, he’d have to wait ten days or until their playoff run is over.
P Chris Dwyer – The once Top 100 Baseball America prospect had superficially good numbers in Omaha this year with a 3.63 ERA. But his strikeout totals – while an improvement over last year – are still disappointing at just over six strikeouts per nine innings. I doubt we will see him up unless Dayton wants to begin converting him to reliever. At age 25, it seems like a move to the pen might be the only way to salvage this once shining star.
IF Irving Falu – FALUUUU!!! Irv took the Royals by storm in 24 games last year, but he has been largely a disappointment in Omaha this year. Still, with all the injuries, he might be called up to provide depth in the infield. But I suspect Irving will be designated for assignment shortly, and we may have chanted FALUUUUU for the last time.
IF Johnny Giavotella – He’ll be back up unless he’s the “player to be named later” in either of the Emilio Bonifacio or Jamey Carroll deals. The only question is – how much will he play?
P Donnie Joseph – Joseph pitched well in just a few innings with the Royals, and had a solid year in Omaha as well, with AAA lefties hitting just .145/.304/.301 against him. He should be back up so the Royals can get a look at him and determine if they want him to break camp with the club next April as a LOOGY.
P John Lamb – Lamb has been a disaster ever since his Tommy John surgery and he could likely be a candidate to be designated for assignment this winter to make room for a more promising player.
P Justin Marks – Marks had a high ERA (4.66) and was hittable in Omaha, but he strikes out nearly a hitter per inning as a starter. The bullpen is probably his path to the Majors, but with so many other lefty candidates, the Royals may showcase Marks for some sort of trade next spring.
IF Edinson Rincon – Rincon has been awful since the Royals acquired him, and will probably be designated for assignment next week to make room for someone else to be added to the roster.
P Everett Teaford – Everett might have pitched in a lot of MLB pens, but he has never seemed able to break into this one. He’ll be up as a useful long reliever, but you wonder what the club sees in his future.
In addition to these players, Lorenzo Cain and Felipe Paulino may be eligible to come off the disabled list and join the active roster.
Players Not on the 40 Man Roster Who Might Be Called Up
These players would have to be added to the 40 man roster, which means someone else must be removed.
P Buddy Baumann – Baumann was fantastic in Omaha this year with a 2.41 ERA and 12 strikeouts per nine. Lefties hit just .207/.284/.241 off of him in the Pacific Coast League. Baumann is 25 so the Royals will probably want to get a look at him to see if he can compete for a LOOGY spots on the club next spring.
IF Pedro Ciriaco – Ciriaco is a Major League vet, but has been pretty disappointing in Omaha since the Royals acquired him, so I rather doubt he gets called up.
IF Christian Colon – No longer a prospect, Colon had a late tear in Omaha to make his numbers a bit more respectable. Still, his line of .268/.328/.377 isn’t screaming “promotion.” But with all the injuries, it might make sense to call Colon up to see what he can do, and I believe the club has to add him to the 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft anyway.
C Brett Hayes – The Royals could use a third catcher for emergency situations and to free up George Kottaras as a pinch-hitter. Hayes has some Major League experience and should be back up.
P Clayton Mortensen - The Royals just picked him up, although I suspect to give Omaha some depth for the playoffs with Duffy in the big leagues now. Mortensen has spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues, primarily as a long reliever. I suppose we could see him, but I'm not sure what the point would be.
1B Carlos Pena – The Royals just added him for seemingly no reason but to boost Omaha’s chances of winning the Pacific Coast League. I suppose we could see him added to the roster as a bench bat, but I’m not sure what the point is.
C Max Ramirez - Ramirez is a liability defensively, which limits him to pinch hitting duties, and he really doesn't hit enough to justify that. I'd rather see Pena if we're going to add anyone.
IF/OF Anthony Seratelli – All this kid does is draw walks and hit, but his lack of defense and his age (30) probably keep him from seeing the show.
P Yordano Ventura - Ventura has held his own in Omaha this year, could we see him in the show this year? He has only thrown 129 innings this year, 20 more than last year, so it doesn't seem like having him toss a few bullpen innings or giving him a start the last week of the year would be overly stressful on his thin frame.
1B Ben Broussard, OF Gorkys Hernandez, P Brian Sanches, OF Willy Taveras – All Major League vets who probably won’t get the call.