Addison Barger's MLB debut will need wait a bit longer after September call-up snub

Spencer Horwitz and Chad Green are the two players the Blue Jays are adding to their roster as September call-ups.
Mar 8, 2023; Dunedin, Florida, USA;  Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Addison Barger (44) doubles
Mar 8, 2023; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Addison Barger (44) doubles / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays are set to make their two September call-ups official on Friday, as Spencer Horwitz will be joining the big league club as the position player and Chad Green will be activated from the injured list as the pitcher, sources confirmed with Jays Journal.

This puts the speculation to bed as to which position player would be promoted by the Jays, as there was a long list of potential candidates that had their names swirling around the rumor mill. Nathan Lukes, Orelvis Martinez, Horwitz and Addison Barger all stood out as possibilities that are already on the 40-man roster. Going deeper than that, Rafael Lantigua and Cam Eden were also options, but the fact that they are non-40-man players put them at an automatic disadvantage.

There's little doubt about it, Horwitz was the right call to be promoted. The 25-year-old has done nothing but dominate Triple-A pitching all year long to the tune of .337/.450/.495 with a .945 OPS in 107 games. Along the way, he has 10 home runs and a career-high 72 RBI. He's been an on-base machine who also has an advanced knowledge of the strike zone and is putting himself in position to replace Brandon Belt, who could be retiring at season's end, next year.

However, Barger is also knocking down the door and, frankly, should have been recalled once Bo Bichette returned to the injured list. That's not a knock on Mason McCoy, who is an otherworldly defender at shortstop, but we have already seen what can happen when a young prospect is given the chance to shine in Davis Schneider. Not every youngster that comes up is going to become the best hitter in MLB history like Schneider has, but adding a defense-first infielder with no bat to speak of in McCoy was a questionable call when someone like Barger appears to be ready to go in Triple-A.

On the season, the 23-year-old Barger has made it into 74 games across three minor league levels, hitting seven home runs with 20 doubles, 33 RBI and a .774 OPS. His offensive output hasn't quite been on the same level as Horwitz's has been, but he's made some serious strides this year and has done more than enough to warrant an extended look in the big leagues. On defense, Barger has spent time at second base, third base, shortstop and even right field, giving the Blue Jays yet another utility-type player that they hold so dearly to their hearts. He may not be a shortstop long-term, but his flexibility and still-developing bat is going to make him an important asset to the Jays moving forward.

An interesting theory here is that the Jays could use both Horwitz and Barger this month. There are some quiet rumblings that Horwitz could get two(ish) weeks of time on the active roster before being optioned in favor of Barger. This could work nicely, as it would give both prospects a shot at some time in The Show. Even if this is not how it shakes out, both of these young guns are shaping up to be important parts of the 2024 Blue Jays, perhaps even on Opening Day.