The Reds minor league season is coming to a close and that means call-ups are around the corner. Recently, I talked to the Triple-A Louisville Bats manager Jody Davis about who he thinks should get the call to contribute to the major league team.
The first name out of his mouth made it to Great American Ballpark before I had the chance to type this up – Brian O’Grady. Davis had this to say about him, “I think he’s done everything that could be asked of him to deserve that chance. He’s shown he can play defense at first base and centerfield and offensively, he’s done everything you can ask a guy to do.”
After that, most of the names were pitchers, as you’d expect. He mentioned Sal Romano, Matt Bowman, Jimmy Herget, and Jackson Stephens as guys who could all help give some rest to the Reds regular bullpen arms. When it came to Stephens, though, he had this to say, “At times, he looks like he’s a little bored to be here.”
There’s also R.J. Alaniz, who was acquired from the Mariners and has been putting together quite a run in Louisville. You could, frankly, imagine almost any pitcher on the 40 getting a call up as soon as rosters expand. Those who do will probably tell you something about who’s in the plans for next year.
I asked about additional bats to see if he had anyone else in mind.
Christian Colon was mentioned, but that seems unlikely. Colon has had a good year, but he’s 30 and not on the 40-man roster.
When asked about Alex Blandino, Sweet was enthusiastic. He noted that, despite the extended time off, “He’s been putting it together. His at-bats are getting better and he’s played solid defense.” Blandino is on the 40-man roster and is quite likely to be a part of the Reds call-ups.
Other possible position players may include Jose Siri, but that seems unlikely. Siri just got back to Louisville after spending most of the year in Chattanooga. He had one game with the Bats earlier this year, thanks to some injuries.
Interestingly, this is the last year this many players can be called up. Next year, rosters will only be allowed to expand to 28 in September. While it’s understandable that MLB wants to prevent teams from having approximately 7,000 relievers on the team, it likely means the end of reward call-ups, where guys who’ve been great in the organization get a month in the majors and a chance to show what they can do. Instead, teams will almost certainly call-up which ever up-and-down relievers happen to be in Triple-A when rosters expand.