The Next Round of Callups

Associate Editor
Posted Sep 1, 2006


Three up, but how many left to go? The Diamondbacks are sure to make a second round of September callups once the Tucson Sidewinders finish their PCL playoff run. As to who the callups will be, some players are more likely candidates than others.

Probables:

Alberto Callaspo

It's true that the Diamondbacks already have a bevy of infield options at the major league level, but Callaspo's simply too good not to get the call.  He's hit .340 for Tucson, and has been the hardest professional player to strike out over the past two years.  To top it all off, he can play either shortstop or second base very well, and even logged a few innings at third during his brief stint with the parent club last week.  He's good enough to start for several big league clubs, and there's little doubt that he'll return shortly.

Scott Hairston

Because of his recent stint on the DL, people forget that Scott Hairston was easily Tucson's best all-around hitter this season.  He clubbed 25 homers despite logging just 365 at bats.  Oh, and he hit .323 as well.  Hairston may be sorely needed in the outfield if Luis Gonzalez, Carlos Quentin, and Eric Byrnes continue their struggles from the past few weeks.  Even if those guys rebound, Hairston makes for a formidable bat off the bench.

Dustin Nippert

He's been up and down all year long, so the safe money is that he'll be up again one final time.  But honestly, several of his teammates at Tucson have outpitched him this year, and he hasn't shown any indication that he can get major league hitting out consistently yet.  Plus, if they do bring him back, it likely won't be as a starter, and they may not want to risk warping his development by using him as a reliever.

Robby Hammock

Hammoch has quietly put together a nice season at AAA, having hit .290 with 19 homers in just 348 at bats.  He's a likely callup for his versatility; Not only is he a quality backstop, but he can play left, right, or third base in a pinch.  It doesn't hurt that he's done well in the majors before.  Bob Melvin shouldn't have to worry that Robby might freeze up in a key situation because he's in awe of playing in the majors.  He'll give Melvin an awful lot of flexibility down the stretch.

Questionables:

Chris Carter

Carter has done nothing but cream the ball since he's gotten into the Diamondbacks organization.  The problem remains that he really can't play any position besides first base, and one of the most important building blocks of the organization already resides there in Conor Jackson.  And with Tony Clark now healthy, there's no way that the club will go with a prospect who is unproven at the major league level over a solid veteran who can hit in the clutch as Jackson's backup.  They could call him up to get him one or two at bats as a pinch hitter, but that could end up being more frustrating for the kid than not being promoted at all.  

Brian Barden

Barden has always performed well for the organization, but has never really distinguished himself from the pack.  This was probably the most disappointed guy in the world when Chad Tracy moved back to third base and signed a three year extension.  The eighteen errors that Barden has committed this year won't help his cause, but his solid performance in spring training this year may have served to convince upper management that he can handle the pressure of the big leagues.

Mike Bacsik

Bacsik turns 29 in November and hasn't ever proven himself at the big league level, but an 11-0 record and 2.79 ERA are hard to ignore.  Perhaps more importantly, Bacsik would give the Diamondbacks another much-needed lefty out of the bullpen.  Trouble is, Bascik hasn't dealt with left handed batters any better than he has right handed ones this year.  The Diamondbacks aren't the type of organization who will promote someone just for show.  If Bacsik gets the call, it will be because they have faith in his ability to get those lefties out.

Doubtfuls:

Micah Owings

He doesn't need to be protected on the 40-man roster, so it's unlikely that the club would bring him up at such a late date.  On the other hand, could the organization live with itself if the DIamondbacks missed the playoffs by one game, knowing that a couple of late starts from this stud might have made the difference?

Mike Schultz

His control has improved dramatically this year, but generally you'd like to see some year-to-year consistency with a reliever before relying upon him in key stretch games.  And Schultz's 6'-7" frame makes consistent mechanics difficult.

Jeff Bajenaru

By the time the Triple-A playoffs are over, Bajenaru will have logged about 85 bullpen innings on the year.  He's old enough to have built up some arm resiliency, but also has an injury history that set back his career earlier.  The possible rewards of a promotion here just don't outweigh the risks. 

 

Read more from Keith Glab at BaseballEvolution.com



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