Being just one day from the new month, the Cubs and the 29 other MLB teams will all begin the annual process of calling up some of the bright spots on their Triple-A and even Double-A teams. Some teams will call-up players right on September 1st while others will wait until after their Triple-A or Double-A teams are out of the playoffs. The significance will change between teams, with a contending team only calling up a few players with major league experience and a team out of contention calling up more players, including top prospects. In what could be a disappointment to some fans, the Cubs will more than likely opt not to call up any top prospects, such as Javier Baez, in September. Here are some players who could get the call:
Players Most Likely to be Called Up (On 40 man roster)
P Brooks Raley
P Justin Grimm
P Eduardo Sanchez
OF Dave Sappelt
Raley, Sanchez and Sappelt all have major league experience this season with the Cubs and figure to get another chance, though Sappelt could be passed up again. Justin Grimm, who was acquired in the Matt Garza trade, has been mediocre in Triple-A, but his major league experience figures to get him a look.
Players Most Likely to be Called Up (Not on 40 man Roster)
P Zach Rosscup
P Rafael Dolis
P Scott Baker
OF Ryan Sweeney
Three of these four (Dolis, Baker and Sweeney) are all on the 60 Day DL, but figure to be activated soon after the roster extension. The other one on this list, Zach Rosscup, has been impressive in limited innings in Triple-A and was outstanding in Double-A, thanks in large part to an outstanding K/9. These four figure to be the only non 40 man roster players to be called up.
Players on the Bubble (4o man Roster)
P Alberto Cabrera
C J.C. Boscan
OF Matt Szczur
Alberto Cabrera is a guy who pitched some games out of the bullpen with the Cubs last season, but didn’t impress as much as he was expected to. He was converted to a starter in Double-A, but was moved back to a reliever once he reached Triple-A Iowa. He will almost certainly pitch out of the ‘pen if he is called up. The only way Boscan will be called up is if the Cubs feel they need a 3rd catcher. The 31 year old has had a less than impressive year with the Iowa Cubs. Szczur figures to be the closest thing to a top prospect that they could call-up. The 24 year old center fielder has hit at a .279 clip with the Tennessee Smokies and has stolen 22 bases.
Players Unlikely or With No Chance of Making It (40 man Roster)
P Trey McNutt
P Neil Ramirez
IF Mike Olt
IF Christian Villanueva
IF Josh Vitters
OF Brett Jackson
OF Jorge Soler
This list is filled mostly with top prospects, none of whom are expected to be called up. Olt was rumored to be a call-up after he was acquired, though he struggled with Iowa and is no longer on the top of the call-up list. Vitters has had a good season, but has battled numerous injuries and the Cubs don’t want to rush him back.
I’m guessing the Cubs will call up all eight players I listed in the first two tiers, granted they are all healthy. The only other player I think they will call up is Matt Szczur, to give him a chance to show what he has. Either way, it should be interesting who the team gives the opportunity to, knowing that this is a lost season.