The Boston Red Sox are required to complete the schedule and that means September call ups. A preview of possible down the road talent and veterans getting their last taste of The Show.
The 2019 season isn’t over since the schedule calls for required games until the end of September. The second season is the playoffs and a few still cling to the fast evaporating hopes that it is not a miracle on 34th Street, but on Yawkey Way or whatever that thoroughfare is known as.
The remaining games fall into categories with the first category being nuisance value. The Red Sox have a handful of games that can influence the Wild Card race and customarily they can either go through the motions or simply play dead – playing dead they have mastered this season.
The second category is individual such as certain honors and awards that may be attained. Rafael Devers is of special notice in this category as his incredible season is getting Devers some potential bold type in the statistic ledger. This is reminiscent of 1958 when teammates Ted Williams – a rather competent hitter – battled Pete Runnels for the batting title. Teddy Ballgame won, but Runnels bagged two titles in his Red Sox career.
The last category is the September call ups which in the quirky logic of baseball means expanded rosters. This, unfortunately, leads to the most dreadful of games with manager’s making far too many pitching changes and other perceived strategic moves that are nails against the chalkboard.
The good news is present with September call ups that do make one attempt to stay awake. The call ups are a tease for the future in just who the Red Sox consider a bona fide potential contributor for either the immediate or distant future. Since this year’s team is now in the tank the players squeezing into the locker room may be worth more than a casual glance.
Dustin Pedroia was never anointed a number one prospect and did have a rather infamous beginning hitting a less than promising .191 in his September 2006 début. After an ignominious beginning in 2007, the designation was PedroiAAA. Pedroia responded to that insult with a .317 and Rookie of the Year Award.
In 2007 Clay Buchholz made a one-game start in August before being shuffled back to the minors and sequestered until September. Buchholz second start was a no-hitter for the number one ranked prospect, but unlike Pedroia 2008 was not kind to Buchholz (2-9, 6.75).
My brilliance at player prediction had Lars Anderson as a future MLB star with his Williams like swing and physique. In September of 2010, Anderson rewarded my insightful evaluations by hitting a thundering .200. That was the career highlight as Anderson managed just one hit thereafter. When last seen Anderson was playing baseball in Germany.
Andrew Benintendi’s September visit was one of great promise after his rapid rise to the number one prospect in the system. I as did many others anticipated a ROY for Benny in 2017, but Aaron Judge had a different idea and Benny finished second, but he did hit a prospect home run.
Yoan Moncada was the number one prospect in all of baseball when he hit just .211 in his September in 2016, but it was enough to show his incredible five-tool potential. Moncada was soon gone and Chris Sale arrived, but Moncada has finally put it all together for the White Sox.
A few players are rushed or are they? Devers, Mookie Betts, Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and a handful of others didn’t have to wait until September and were all brought in early. Looking at just those four names just sings out with talent.
Just who will the Red Sox bring along this September? Will they get meaningful games? Will Bryan Mata get some work either out of the bullpen or a start? Mata has been shaky at Portland (AA) as has another possibility in outfielder Jarren Duran whose average has plummeted over 100 points since making the jump from Salem (A+).
Number two prospect Bobby Dalbec is a given as the right-handed slugger is now at Pawtucket (AAA) and still showing power. Infielder C.J. Chatham is also a strong probable and at Pawtucket with Dalbec. Former number one draft choice Tanner Houck is working out of the Pawtucket ‘pen and should see some September innings.
Mike Shawaryn and Teddy Stankiewicz are still considered somewhat viable prospects and may surface. Shawaryn had a brief and forgettable stay in Boston this season. Expect Colten Brewer to return and the yearly visit from Tzu-Wei Lin since veterans often get the call along with hotshot to borderline prospects.
September will be auditions directed towards the future and that future will not include several on the roster. Changes will take place and an impressive September showing could move a player into a more significant niche or become a valuable trading chip. The team may be dead, but baseball isn’t.