Feldman: September call-ups could offer assistance but not impact for Cardinals

Feldman: September call-ups could offer assistance but not impact for Cardinals

Credit: Getty Images

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 8: Randal Grichuk #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals bats in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 8, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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by By Brian Feldman, Baseball STL

KMOV.com

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 4:59 PM

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- At this point in the season teams in Major League Baseball are just getting by until rosters expand on September 1st.  Managers are just days away from knowing if a game is decided early they don’t have to use an important reliever to chew up needless innings.
 
They can just go to their AAA set up guy to get them through the rest of that particular game.
 
Several situations like this occur in the season’s final month which helps teams of all types (contenders and non-contenders).  Unlike previous years there really isn’t anyone in Memphis who is an automatic surefire call-up that’s going to make a big impact for the Cards.
 
Maybe the most noteworthy will be Randal Grichuk, who had a couple tours with the team earlier in the season.  The 23-year old hit just .136 in 44 at-bats while with the parent club but has shown his plus power in the minors this season.  He’s now hit 23 home runs this year for AAA and has 63 combined since 2012.
 
He’ll at least provide something of a power threat off the bench for the final month of the season.
 
Beyond that, however, there isn’t much.  Pete Kozma will likely be back to provide defensive insurance (and not much else) for Jhonny Peralta at shortstop.  The former #1 pick in 2007 has hit just .236 this season and continues to show his offense will likely never be what it once was during that red hot two months back in September and October of ’12.
 
Others we could see include Tyler Lyons as depth in the bullpen to chew up needless innings, outfielder Tommy Pham and maybe even first baseman Xavier Scruggs.  Stephen Piscotty (now the top prospect in the minor league system with Oscar Taveras in the big leagues) also would make sense.
 
The problem with promoting Piscotty, Pham and Scruggs is the fact none of them are on the 40-man roster.  You have to be on that list in order to come up in September.  And there are long term repercussions for putting someone on that particular roster before it’s necessary so it’s no sure thing all three will be coming to St. Louis.
 
Pham is the most intriguing because he’s long been a talented prospect in the system who had all the traditional tools (speed, power, defense, etc.) but he’s had a very difficult time staying healthy.  Now, though, in his 8th full professional season he’s had a full year without getting hurt.  His .339 average for Memphis and .910 OPS shows how good he can be.
 
All of those names will get consideration for a call-up in September but not all will make it based on 40-man roster implications.  Either way, it’s unlikely any of them will provide a huge impact in St. Louis as it is.

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