MLB: THE AZ DIAMONDBACKS AND THE EXPANDED ROSTER
The MLB expanded roster period is less than two weeks away; that means any player on the 40-man MLB roster can be called up to play for the big league club. Look for the Arizona Diamondbacks to take advantage of the expanded roster as they will be bringing up young prospects and some worthy veterans from their minor league system.
It does not matter where the Diamondbacks are in the standings when the roster expands, the likely additions to the team should make the final six weeks of the season exciting to watch, as the future of the team is put on display. The Diamondbacks will need some player help as they will be finishing a stretch of 31 games in the 32 days. September 1st also brings a double-header against the Rockies, which is a makeup game from an early season rain-out. We expect to see starters, relievers and position players being called up as the roster expands.
One pitcher that might be called up is Aaron Blair. The front-office and coaches would like to see him pitch in a few games, but they will have to see how many innings he finishes in the minors before they determine on how they will use him. He is projected to be a 2016 starter for Diamondbacks and any experience he can get will be a bonus.
Braden Shipley, who is being looked at as a number two or three starter, is another guy who could join the major league squad for the end of the 2015 season. Shipley has already thrown over 130+ innings so far this year in the minors, so the team will need to use him wisely.
Kevin Munson who returned to the Diamondbacks minor leagues is a hard thrower and could see time as a late inning reliever. It looks like his fastball control is back, and that has helped set up his off-speed pitches.
Matt Reynolds, who has pitched for the Diamondbacks before, is a left-handed reliever and looks like he has recovered from Tommy John surgery; and we know this team’s bullpen can use an extra arm to throw from the left side. With Oliver Perez being traded and Andrew Chafin being a workhorse out of the bullpen, it seems like an ideal opportunity for Reynolds to make his case to return to the big league roster for 2016.
Also, look for Enrique Burgos, Matt Stites, Allen Webster, A.J. Schugel, and possibly Archie Bradley, who all spent time with the Diamondbacks this year, to see some late season playing time.
For position players, infielder Brandon Drury should be called up. He was set to make the team out of Spring Training this year, but the team decided to keep both Cliff Pennington and Aaron Hill, making Drury the odd man out. With Pennington gone and Hill unlikely to return in 2016, it would appear that Drury might finally get some at-bats for the Diamondbacks.
Phil Gosselin will be finishing a rehab assignment and they will want to see what he has to offer both in fielding and at the plate. Peter O’Brien, who moved from catcher to the outfield, has a potent bat and the team will want to see if he has home run power at the major league level. And, if he can play the outfield, Danny Dorn, who has been a career minor-leaguer and who has been up and down on the 25-man roster this season will see some playing time. He is a left-handed batter and it never hurts to have another bat off the bench.
There are other names that are on the 40-man roster that could see action, making it interesting team during September.
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