We’re less than a month away from embarking on an annually unique month over the course of a Major League Baseball season. Rosters get to expand in September, which gives clubs a chance to deepen their lineup cards and bullpens.
There has been a lot of debate about the annual rite of clubs to augment their roster from a 25-man to a 40-man. I’d imagine it’s a lot of logistical planning to transport that many players and provide adequate locker room real-estate, for example.
Like all clubs, but more so for the Jays, since any tinkering with the line-up will not be a determining factor in their chances at a post-season berth, this September should give us an opportunity to check out some of our most touted prospects at the Major league level.
Although many fans are loathe to watch their beloved team lose (which tends to happen when you throw a bunch of rookies on the field), there are those of a certain ilk that are excited to see how some of our brightest prospects perform in the show, as a litmus test of sorts.
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Most call-ups’ workload will not add up to anything near an adequate sample size, and thus there isn’t necessarily a lot of data, aka, stats to sift through. Nonetheless, scouts, coaches, the front office (and fans), can evaluate players’ tools from the ol’ eye test.
For some players this could be their first, or maybe second taste of the show, and thus this gives them the invaluable opportunity to (further) acclimate to, most importantly, big league stuff – firing from often expensive, and proven Major League arms.
Or from a pitching perspective, a prospect could potentially be thrown right into the frying pan, perhaps called upon to extinguish a rally by the opposition.
The Jays have the luxury of tinkering with the roster and lineup card to a much larger extent than a contending team, and these circumstances should lend themselves well for John Gibbons to have free reign to put players on the field, for the sole purpose of observing how they will react to meaningful in-game situations, and ideally contribute to wins.
For Toronto, there will be a wealth of talent to choose from that could be added to the big league team. That pool includes a vast array of names to choose from: we’ve got a nice bumber crop of outfielders, which will potentially include Dalton Pompey and Anthony Alford, provided they are fully convalesced by Labour day from their respective injuries. Also, the recent addition of Teoscar Hernandez, acquired in the deal that sent Francisco Liriano packing for Houston and the 1st-place Astros, will widen the field of players that could quite possibly be the presumptive heirs to starting roles, in 2018 on the big league roster.
If one were to peer into the Jays farm system, there would be some tantalizing options to choose from to see how they hold up at the highest level. Albeit, some of our most touted names will not likely be called up, as they are still too young and at the lower levels, such as one of our single A affiliates, the Dunedin Blue Jays. So I hope I haven’t gotten anyone’s hopes up at the thought of seeing the Jays most talked about rising stars, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette at the Rogers Centre.
It should be fun (for some) and interesting at the very least, to see who gets trotted out in September. Hey, maybe we’ll even get to see up on the jumbotron an almost-unpronounceable name like Jason Leblebijian – or perhaps even an arm or two out of double A, that could potentially debut out of the bullpen – like a Ryan Borucki or Sean Reid-Foley?