Monday, September 9, 2013

Two puzzling call-ups

Shairon Martis is 26
now, but he pitched
in the majors for
Washington at ages
21 and 22.
The Rochester Red Wings were eliminated Sunday in the International League playoffs, which (a) concluded the season for the Twins minor league teams and (b) freed up the Twins to make the rest of their September call-ups.

Seven players got the call for the season's final three weeks or so: Pitchers Scott Diamond, Cole De Vries, Michael Tonkin and Shairon Martis; infielders Eduardo Escobar and Chris Parmelee; and catcher Eric Fryer.

Most of these were pretty obvious. Diamond, demoted for his ineffectiveness, went 4-0, 2.41 for Rochester and won his playoff start. De Vries, his season wrecked by a spring training injury, got it going late. Escobar, who had no previous history of hitting well, went .307/.380/.500 for the Red Wings; it wasn't a lot of at-bats (188 plate appearances), but that's a mighty attractive slash line for a middle infielder. Tonkin has a very real chance to be a bullpen factor next season.

And some are a bit surprising. Parmelee, for example: a .231/.318/.370 line for a first baseman-right fielder doesn't scream for his recall. I wonder how much playing time he's going to get; I wonder if this isn't his last chance to impress somebody.

Martis had a 4.26 ERA in 80 innings, mostly in middle relief; I doubt there's much there.

Eric Fryer gives
the Twins four
active catchers
going on five.
And Fryer ... he hit an unimpressive .215/.339/.365. The Twins already had three active catchers in Ryan Doumit, Chris Herrmann and Josmil Pinto — and Joe Mauer supposedly making progress in his recovery from his concussion. When Mauer returns, this gives the Twins five catchers. Even granting that several of those five can do other things than catch, that's a lot. I understand that Gene Glynn, the Rochester manager, really likes Fryer, but on the surface, there's simply no way Fryer rates with the other four.

My guess is that the Twins know they won't give either Martis or Fryer spots on their 40-man roster this winter, but they really want to retain the two as minor league free agents. (The Twins created the 40-man berths for them by putting Wilkin Ramirez and Sam Deduno on the 60-day disabled list; the other five were already on the 40.) This September call-up is, in effect, a bonus for them for being good organization guys in Triple A. A few more weeks of service time, some major league pay, a gesture of appreciation.

1 comment:

  1. I believe you are right, it was a reward to two guys for being good organization guys. I appreciate the fact that the Twins organization will do this for good guys. Neither will likely play much and both will be removed from the 40 man roster after the season. Still, it is as you suggest a reward and a thank you.