Cleat Geeks

September Call-Ups Chance to Find Diamond in the Rough

mlb-logoAfter the final outs were made in several of the minor league games Monday many players had their 2015 extended by being called up to respective Major League teams as part of the late-season-September call ups.

There are several ways you can look at this. For teams looking to make the playoffs bringing up one of these players can do a lot of things for their teams. Once the team clinches a playoff spot having one of the extra players from the minors can allow the team to rest certain players for the next month’s playoffs. The 162-game schedule in Major League Baseball is the toughest grind in professional sports. Any chance to get key players rest after securing a place in the post-season will always be beneficial for a team looking for October success.

Texas Rangers' Joey Gallo follows through for a double against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

Texas Rangers September Call-up Joey Gallo.

The one aspect of the late-season call-ups I like the most – the players getting a chance to prove themselves for about a month in “The Show.” A minor-league prospect brought up at the end of the season should be looked at as a reward for having a great season down on the farm. They earned the privilege to have a chance to gain the few weeks experience to build on when they either begin next season back in the minors or possibly even play well enough to be considered for a spot on the 40-man roster when spring training begins again next February.


Minnesota Twins September Call-up, Alex Meyer.

I don’t think you should have to set a complete 25-man roster for every game once the players have been added after Labor Day. Those added to the roster should all be available for the manager to use in any given situation.

Does it make teams out of contention easier to beat? Probably. Will it cause fans to not want to come out to the ballpark to basically see the farm hands the rest of the month? Again, probably.

The one thing you can pretty much guarantee when a player making his first appearance in the field, at the plate or on the mound fans in the stands, watching on television or listening to the game know that player will give their all because of the opportunity they have been given by the franchise.

What’s better is when a season has all been determined and you get the veteran pitcher throwing a stellar game late in the season and to try to get him off balance the opposing team’s manager calls upon one of his prospects to grab a bat and go to the plate.billyChappel

It’s a lot like that scene at the end of “For Love of the Game” when the Yankees’ manager, Bobby Mack (played by current University of Texas Baseball Coach Auggie Garrido), tells recently called up Ken Strout to grab a bat and “wreck it” in trying to break up the perfect game Billy Chappel (played by Kevin Costner). Of course in the movie this scenario is foreshadowed when it is learned Strout’s Dad used to catch for Billy Chapel. Steve Lyons, who played himself along with Vin Scully in the movie as the announcers for the game, comments about the strategy.

“This is a great move by Bobby Mack, the Yankee skipper,” Lyons said. “Sending a kid up, Ken Strout, his first Major League at-bat. He’s just young enough and just cocky enough to not realize the magnitude of the situation that’s in.”

On the first pitch, Strout hits a screamer down the right-field line only to go foul. As Chapel receives a replacement ball he says to himself, “Well, I don’t scare you at all Strout. Guess you forgot who I am .”


Chicago Cubs September call-up, Javier Baez.

That right there is the beauty of late-season baseball regardless if the team is in competition for October or not. Seeing these head games being played out in real life I think adds intrigue to the end of the season. It doesn’t add interest of getting people through the turnstiles, but it definitely brings suspense and wondering exactly what these players can do in a given situation such as the one described from “For Love of the Game.”

For that, I will always be a supporter of the September call-ups for all teams because you never know when that one player might impress well enough to make the opportunity he was given for a couple of weeks worth 162 games in “The Show” the following season.

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