A confession: I love expanded rosters. I hate that the 30-man pitching staffs allow managers to play match-up games in the fourth inning -- looking at you, Bochy -- but I love the ability of managers to mix and match, to pinch-hit and pinch-run with impunity. I secretly yearn for a roster with hyper-specialist players like Herb Washington. I want Pat Venditte on a roster at all times, just because there's room and he's interesting.
And a knuckleballer. Every team should have one knuckleballer on the roster at all times, or else they forfeit every game.
So I look forward to the September call-ups. Until they happen. Then it's not as exciting. Here are the call-ups from last year:
- Johnny Monell - C
- Francisco Peguero - OF
- Nick Noonan - INF
- Juan Perez - OF
- George Kontos - RP
- Ehire Adrianza - SS
- Jake Dunning - RP
- Heath Hembree - RP
/toots kazoo and spins noisemaker around
Two of those guys were given away in the offseason, one was traded last month, and two were designated for assignment and taken off the 40-man roster. Wheeee.
This year could be a lot more exciting, though! There are several players on the 40-man roster who aren't on the active roster, plus the Giants can move Marco Scutaro to the 60-day DL if they wanted to add a player who isn't on the 40-man. It's wide open. Here are some of the players I'm either expecting or hoping to see:
I'm expecting to see him because of the defense. With the expanded rosters, this is the kind of player who can help a team. His vroom is mostly useless, at least when it comes to stolen bases, as he gets thrown out nearly as often as he's successful.
What should happen: Brown comes up and is as bad as expected, and the weird anti-Blanco crowd realizes they're weird. Blanco has a .657 OPS in a pitcher's park in the majors. Brown has a .718 OPS in the artificially inflated Pacific Coast League, and he's reportedly a little hinky with his fundamentals. The weird anti-Blanco, pro-Brown crowd is weird.
What will happen: Brown will hit .364 in 22 at-bats to troll us all.
Remember when Parker was called up to the majors in a procedural whirlwind that never got him into a major league clubhouse?
They erased Jarrett Parker's name on the list of SJ Giants who played in the bigs. :-( pic.twitter.com/bcKqicqXQh— Kristin (@legaleagle88) August 24, 2014
Make it up to him, Giants.
Obviously. Unless he's on the Giants right now. I can never remember. Schrödinger's Perez.
He's having a fine year in Fresno, small-sample warning. If he could hit as well as Madison Bumgarner, he'd probably be worth 12 WAR. Love that defense.
Oooh. Hello, interesting player I forgot was on the 40-man. He's slowed down mightily at San Jose over his last few games, and the little Giants are still in a playoff hunt, so this is an unlikely call-up. Still, he's already on the roster and already has a big-league contract, so I can see the Giants taking a peek at what he can do against major league pitching before next spring.
If he comes up, it'll be when the San Jose Giants are finished with the playoffs, I'll guess.
Ehire Adrianza, Adam Duvall
Lumped together because they've already been up, and there's no reason they won't be back. Well, this is assuming Adrianza's hamstring is better -- he hasn't played since July 24.
Not on the 40-man, but he's everything that Gary Brown is, give or take, and he can talk about the olden times with Travis Ishikawa in front of the younger players. He's doing fine in Fresno, considering his defense and baserunning.
Did someone say baserunning?
Never gets old.
Assuming Guillermo Quiroz, who would need to be added to the 40-man roster again. With Hector Sanchez out for the season, a third catcher would help the Giants use Buster Posey as a pinch-hitter on his days off. What's the point of expanded rosters if you don't have a third catcher?
Someone in the Giants believed in him enough to nab him off waivers and stick with him through Tommy John surgery. That faith might be rewarded. What he's done this year:
They're taking it easy on his arm after the surgery, but there's no question he's going to be in the bullpen discussions next spring. He's almost certainly going to get called up, except the Flying Squirrels are in first place. Would be kind of a drag to take their closer away.
He's having the Dan Runzleriest season this side of Dan Runzler, and he's very likely to get taken off the 40-man roster this offseason to make room for the next Erik Cordier. I like the idea of a major-league contract for the premium minor-league free agents, though, even if that description is something of a non-sequitur. Considering the Giants have stuck with him this long, they might as well see him in person for the rest of the season.
The owner of the highest ERA in Giants history (min. 20 innings) should get another chance in the majors. He's ... well ... pretty much the same pitcher he was last year, and he's in the middle of a rough stretch for Fresno right now. Still, he's death against lefties, and the slow pull of the gravity on Planet LOOGY will suck him in eventually. This would be a good trial run in that role.
My guess at the actual call-ups:
- Gary Brown
- Juan Perez
- Adam Duvall
- Ehire Adrianza (if healthy)
- Guillermo Quiroz
- Hunter Strickland (mid-Sept.)
- Mike Kickham
Maybe Daniel Carbonell, too. I can't figure what the Giants will do there, but his major-league contract gives him a great shot. It's not like the Giants are going to be worried about his service time, and they might have him in mind for next year. He would certainly be the most exciting call-up of the bunch, with Strickland a close second. And, dang it all, I'm actually curious about Gary Brown, too. First-round picks rewire my brain, I guess. Looking forward to watching him play.
Mostly, though, I miss Juan Perez, even if he might be on the active roster right now.