Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The September call-ups

The Twins on Monday completed their call-ups for the final month of the season, and the list is more noteworthy for who wasn't added to the active roster than for those who were.

Brian Dozier won't
be back in the bigs
this month.
They had brought up Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters, starting pitchers, earlier in the weekend. (Vasquez started Sunday; Walters is to start Wednesday.) Monday's additions were infielder Eduardo Escobar (who was acquired from the White Sox in the Francisco Liriano trade) and reliever Luis Perdomo.

The Twins came into the month with three vacancies on their 40-man roster. Two of them were filled by Vasquez and Perdomo. One remains open. And that open slot means that the Twins could have activated one more player not currently on the 40 and chose not to.

It's not surprising, but still noteworthy, that Nick Blackburn and Tsuyoshi Nishioka weren't brought back — noteworthy because they will continue to get paid on their major league contracts without playing this month.

Shortstop Brian Dozier, shipped out a couple of weeks ago, won't be back; the Twins are giving a serious look at Pedro Florimon and Escobar instead.

Also excluded from the call ups: Double A outfielders Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks. Arcia is already on the 40; Hicks is not, but will be added this winter.

It appears the Twins skipped them because, like Dozier, they wouldn't get much playing time if they were called up. We can expect that Josh Willingham (lf), Ben Revere (cf) and Chris Parmelee (rf) will be the regular outfield the rest of the way, with Darin Mastroianni and Matt Carson in reserve (and maybe Denard Span returning from the DL after mid month).

I'm fine with giving Parmelee a month of regular outfield action — not only as an opportunity for him to show what he can do with regular at-bats, but as a chance to see how he fares defensively as an outfielder.

Anthony Slama's
major league career
adds up to seven innings.
More controversial, at least on Twitter, is the bypassing of Anthony Slama, who hand an ERA of 1.26 for Rochester (and had a lengthy stint on the disabled list). Slama struck out 56 batters in 35.2 innings.

Slama's minor league track record is impressive —in more than 324 career innings, his ERA is an even 2.00 — but his stuff is described as mediocre and he does walk people. The Twins don't take his stats seriously; they don't think he can get major league hitters to chase the way minor leaguers have.

Perdomo also has a history of not throwing strikes. But he has better fastball velocity than Slama. The Twins are more interested in Perdomo's velocity than in Slama's sleight of hand.

Slama was exposed to the Rule V draft last winter and went unclaimed, probably because he missed much of the second half of the season with an elbow problem. Assuming that he won't be added to the 40 this winter, it will be interesting to see if anybody else thinks it worth giving a shot to a guy who racks up good minor league ERAs with mediocre stuff.

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