Call Ups: Pro or Con? MLBRT 9/8

 

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September call ups…

Pro or con… the crew seems to be split on the decision…check it out and lots more in this weeks round table…

1) Joe Girardi and Buck Showalter are just two MLB managers who think that having the rosters expanded to 40 players during September call-ups should be down away with it. Some baseball people say one reason is that it can have an effect on some team’s playoff positioning as well as entry into MLB’s postseason tournament.

Girardi has suggested having an expanded roster of maybe 28 to 30 players but only 25 can be active for any one game. Depending on the need, or the situation, you could add and remove players… someone has knee injury but not bad enough to place on the DL remove him from the roster and add in a player from your reserves, or the team is about to face a certain pitcher who has the number one of your players, remove him and add one from the reserves, etc…

What’s your opinion on September call ups; as well as Girardi’s suggestion?

Archie1-300x277Archie: I personally look at it from a different perspective. I do not look at it as “enhancing” teams rosters that are already competitive except for the reason you can give the starters a rest from time to time. The main benefit I see is that ALL teams get to take a look at some of their minor league talent and how they do at the next higher level. Also, it does give those minor league guys a chance to present those skills possessed in front of larger crowds and possibly even TV time. So, I guess, the benefits go to ALL teams and for that reason I am all for keeping it the way it is.

On a personal note: The Dodgers have a young man whose Father works in my office. Would love to see Rico Noel running the bases in the post-season for Big Blue.

Dan 3Dan: While I enjoy seeing all the young prospects getting a chance at MLB action, the Brewers only called up 3 players at the September call ups.

I think they should keep it at 25 players and remove the 40-man rosters. A problem I have with the extension of rosters is the exact point they brought up… how it effects playoff positioning and if certain teams even make it to the post-season.

Let’s say a team on the bubble calls up 4 prospects at the September call-up. Those four players go crazy, lead the team into the playoffs. Now, that team can’t use those players and will falter immediately.

That’s not fair to the other team who didn’t call up the players. That’s not fair to a team that would have made a better playoff team and series. It’s not their roster they worked with all season and the roster they will work with in the playoffs.

Get rid of the September call-ups and leave the rosters at 25. 

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I agree with both managers.call_up_worthy_

You have an entire season where you’ve established matchups and, now, all of a sudden, they are gone once the rosters expand. It’s a bit unfair to change up the game in the last month of the season but that’s something baseball has done forever. I wouldn’t necessarily change it, and, I understand what Joe and Buck are saying but I would maintain the status quo when it comes to call ups.

meJoe:  MLB is the only sport that I know of… definitely of the four so-called major sports (MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA) that for the last month of their regular season they say “OK, let’s change  the rules. You can now call up anyone you want from the Minors and expand your eligible playing rosters to 40 players.”  

How stupid is that?

You have teams who are out of the running for a playoff spot giving minor league players tryouts at the major league level. You have other teams resting hurt players with maybe a minor leaguer who  is not exactly ready for prime time. You have other teams using pitching rotations that are also maybe not ready for prime time. I could go on with the scenarios but I hope I have made my point.

This creates situations where  some playoff contending teams are playing against competition that is, frankly, not MLB ready and gives a team a better chance to win the game, where another playoff team might be playing against a team who has their regular players on the field who will play a more competitive MLB level game. That’s not what the game is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be you take your best 25 MLB players and play my best 25 MLB players and then we see what shakes out.

Sorry, I am not a fan of the call ups in MLB.mlb_sept_callups

Instead, I would rather MLB expand the rosters to either 27 or 28 players and then before each game the manager will designate which 25 he wants playing that day. That way a manger can rest a player for day or two if he thinks its needed without sacrificing his bench strength. A player has a nagging injury but you don’t want to lose him to the 15 day DL…. use a player from the reserves. Need an extra pitcher… grab one from the reserves.

This makes makes a hell of a lot more sense than the BS they do right now with send a guy down; bring another guy up. 

Steve-01-288x300Steve: September calls up are important for a variety of reasons.

For the teams in contention, it will give some of your everyday players some much needed rest, as they head into the post season. As for the other teams that are far out of it, this gives some of your younger kids a chance to play against MLB caliber pitchers and gives them a look of what they can do in the major leagues.

I like the expanded rosters in September, and it should not be changed.

2) The Hank Aaron Award… it recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each league… is kind of like the “other child” when it comes time to recognize players with post season honorifics. 

Do you think MLB should do more to publicize the award and exactly what it represents?  And, would that somehow take away the problem some voters have when trying to determine if a player on a team with no chance at the playoffs… (Mike Trout ring a bell?)… deserves their vote for the MVP?

Archie1-300x277Archie: I don’t know.

I guess the  HAA is probably geared more toward actual stats than popularity. For that reason I would applaud it more and give it more attention.

IF IT IS not and it becomes another opinionated popularity contest then… PFFFFF… it is what it is.  

Dan 3Dan: Yes, I do.

Hank Aaron Award
Hank Aaron Award

Publicizing the Hank Aaron Award not only brings more recognition to the great accomplishments of Hank Aaron, but, also, will hopefully help the MVP Award and bring it back to what it was designed to be there for… the Most VALUABLE Player. Instead, it’s far too often taken as the best player in the league.

With this award getting more publicity and really pumped out as much as Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year, MVP and Cy Young Award is pumped out, it’ll hopefully help the rest of the awards get cleaned up to what they’re supposed to do and give awards to deserving players such as Trout. 

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Major League Baseball should establish the award more, since it would also highlight the legacy of Hank Aaron. It would also be an award that could go to a performer on an underperforming team.

For example I wouldn’t in good faith give Mike Trout the MVP award because the Angels have been so horrible, but he would absolutely deserve the Hank Aaron award. It would be a fair consolation prize, for an award that shouldn’t necessarily be publicized as one.

meJoe: I think giving some more pub to the Hank Aaron Award makes sense. It wouldn’t detract from the MVP, yet, it would give acknowledgment to the player who is having a great year but may not be necessarily leading his team to the playoffs… not the most valuable in those terms.

Which is what I think the MVP is suppsoed to be all about… the most valuable player in terms of how he is the guy who if he wasn’t on the team would the team still make it into the MLB tournament?  

Steve-01-288x300Steve: No, I think the fact that a player is at least recognized with an award, despite his teams position in the standings is enough. The fact that fans even know about the award is just fine with me. They have a chance to win the MVP just like any other player, if, he cannot lead his team to a winning season, that says something for the General Manager to give him some other tools available to assist him. Trout is a good example of this that an outstanding player is on a crummy team. I think this would under appreciate the MVP award itself, and thus should not be more publicized that it already is .

3) The new look NY Yankees… aka Baby Bombers… are 3 ½ games out of the 2nd wild card (1st place in the AL East is a pipe dream at best… or is it… they are only 4 ½ games out of 1st ). They have 25 games (as of 8/7) left in their regular season schedule…15 of those are with AL East playoff contending teams.

Regardless, if they can or cannot make the playoffs via the wild card the question is… how afraid should the rest of the contending AL East be about playing the new look Yankees?

Archie1-300x277Archie: Just another hunk of meat to eat. I would not give them any more thought than any other team. IF I am in the hunt I am out to eat all platters set in front of me and young is just as good as veterans.

IF, I do my job, they will not hinder my path. 

Dan 3Dan: I don’t think any team should be afraid of another team since every team can lose and every team can win on any given day. It’s just about executing correctly and limiting mistakes. The thing they need to do is watch out and be aware of the Yankees. With this young players who have been making a way up into the majors, they’ve really improved their roster and the Yankees are a different team than when they started the season… a better team.

Don’t take them for granted.

The Yankees' Aaron Judge (from l. to r.), Ben Heller, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Tyler Austin, and Rob Refsnyder spend the morning at the MLB Network's studios. (PETER BOTTE/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
The Yankees’ Baby Bombers: Aaron Judge (from l. to r.), Ben Heller, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Tyler Austin, and Rob Refsnyder spend the morning at the MLB Network’s studios. (Peter Botte/New York Daily News)

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Despite a suspect pitching staff the Baby Bombers are competing. I would be very worried about these Yankees because they in theory are playing for next season yet they still have an outside shot at making the playoffs this season.

At worst these Yankees can at least ruin the chances of their rivals winning the division and/or wild card slots.

meJoe:  The Baby Bombers have instilled into the Yankees something they haven’t had all year… desire and hunger. These young players have the desire to prove they belong; the desire to excel; the desire to win and get to the playoffs and finally the hunger to prove they have the skills and ability to play and belong in the Show… that they can be the guys the Yankee management wants to have on the 25 man roster for a very long time. 

And, maybe, they won’t make the playoffs this year… it won’t be for lack of trying… but they certainly will impact other team’s payoff hopes , in my opinion.

So, maybe afraid is not the right word, but, yes, the rest of the contending AL East should be aware this is not the same team that they faced earlier in the season. Rather this is a team that beat you in many different ways. Just ask the Blue Jays who got swept  by these Baby Bombers… with two games being slug fests (with some great defense thrown in here) and the other a pitcher’s duel.

So, if a team wants to take these Yankees  lightly… they will do so at their own risk.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: The East has nothing to worry about this season about the Yankees, there are three teams above them right now with just a month to go.

The wild card teams, however, should be taking this team seriously. They rebuilt throughout the season, and appears to be better than they were at the beginning of the season. I am not ready to count them out of the wild card race, even though there are 5 or 6 teams above them for that. Next season, however, I would be a fool if I didn’t say the Yankees could be one of the favorites in the East.

4) Speaking of the AL East… on Tuesday night the Orioles won again on their signature mode of operation… the HR… when they beat Tampa Bay by blasting 3 HRs,  including a grand slam by Manny (MVP?) Machado.

Considering that their best pitcher has 15 wins, with no other pitcher having more than 8… how surprised are you that they are only a game behind the division leading Toronto Blue Jays?

Archie1-300x277Archie: One of the few times, and teams, that I can say has surprised me by hanging in there with offense alone; basically. Live by the sword and die by sword. I think the playoffs will show just how weak their pitching is and how good other teams’ pitching is.  

I don’t see them making a deep run.  

Manny Machado
Manny Machado

Dan 3Dan: I’m a little surprised but not that surprised.

While the Orioles have had a lot of pitching problems this season, their offense has been carrying the way and making up for their woes at pitching. That can only last for so long, it won’t get them far in the playoffs or towards the very last stretch. They’ll make the post-season, but they’ll miss out on the AL East crown. If, their pitching was there or at a similar level to their offense, they’d have the best record in baseball and easily be favorites to win the World Series.

Earl: Very surprised. The Orioles rotation could be better but they can hit and the long ball has kept them in it this season. The Blue Jays are arguably the better team but the Orioles have competed very well under Buck Showalter this season. I wouldn’t have expected them to be in the hunt in September but they keep crushing the ball, and here we are.

meJoe: Frankly, I am shocked.

 I expected, before the season began, that they would be fighting to stay out of the AL East cellar.  Instead here they are…  right in the thick of things. 

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Not really that surprised where they are because they are an offensive nightmare and can score runs, more importantly they can hit the long ball probably better than any other team in Baseball.

The pitching is good enough to stay in contention, but, it will not be enough to do much in the post season. Good hitting can not sustain good pitching in the playoffs as we have seen on a variety of occasions. They will stay in the hunt and maybe even sneak in to the playoffs, maybe even win that wild card game, but once that series starts like an ALDS, they are toast.

5) NL last wild card spot… St. Louis Cardinals or the NY Mets? Why?

Archie1-300x277Archie: Was just having this debate yesterday with coworkers and my best guess would be the Mets.

I feel their pitching is better, especially, on the backend.  They lead the NL is saves and when it comes time to close out games they seem to get it done better.  They have “just enough” offense to get by as well. And, their defense is certainly better than the Cards.  

Dan 3Dan: Out of those two choices, I would go with the St. Louis Cardinals.cardinals-vs-mets

While, the Mets do have a good team and they went to the World Series last season, they have just had too many problems this season to win a spot into them playoffs this season. Their hitting has been a hit-or-miss all season, playing so bad to the point that Terry Collins snapped in a post-game interview saying they’ll start bringing up people from Las Vegas who want to play. This team isn’t what they were last season and won’t beat out St. Louis, who has had their pitching come around, their offense is showing signs of light and really turning it on in the second half.

One thing St. Louis has always been known for is how hot they get when it really counts. When they’re fighting for a playoff spot or when the playoffs come around, St. Louis becomes a bolt of electricity.

They’ll pull away from the Mets and take the final Wild Card spot in the NL.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I feel the Cardinals will pull it off but I would love nothing more than to see the Mets make it.

The Mets are doing it with players that weren’t even on the radar before this season. They have pitchers making contributions that no one would have counted on, and, they have players that have come up from Las Vegas and have performed when they had to.

I still think the Mets will miss out on the 2nd wild card but they shouldn’t be ashamed at the season they’ve had so far.

meJoe: Sometimes its feels like you can never count the Cardinals out, but, this year that is exactly what I am doing. I think the Mets have just enough better pitching and just enough hitting that they find ways to beat teams. and that will allow them to overtake the Cards for the last wild card. The Cardinals stay home and play golf this playoff season.

Unless… the Giants falter so badly that both the Mets and the Cards take both wild cards. 

Steve-01-288x300Steve: The Cardinals are going to get the second wild card spot.

Two reasons on why, the Mets still cannot hit, there rotation is still suspect, and is a hit or miss, and second, the Cardinals will always find a way to win baseball games and reach the playoffs. I would never count out the Cardinals on a post season berth.

However, I may be poised to say that the Giants may be on the outside looking in, while both the Mets and Cardinals get in, Cards with the top spot, with the Mets holding the second wild card…. just a thought.

Extra Innings…

The two winningest teams (regular season) ever…. 

The Chicago Cubs… 

cubs

1906 CHICAGO CUBS
Record: 116-36
Manager: Frank Chance
Lost in World Series (4-2) to the Chicago White Sox
A win total that has stood as the NL record for more than a century. In addition to managing the team to an MLB record .763 winning percentage, Hall-of-Famer Frank Chance also played first base and led the league in runs and stolen bases. Joining Chance were three other future Hall of Famers in Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker and Mordecai Brown. Brown posted a record-setting 1.04 ERA on his way to a 26-6 season. However, a ton of regular season wins does not guarantee a championship, and although the AL’s Chicago White Sox had 23 less wins during the season, they upset the Cubbies in the World Series, 4-2.

And the Seattle Mariners… 

seattle

2001 SEATTLE MARINERS
Record: 116-46
Manager: Lou Piniella
Lost in the ALCS (4-1) to the Yankees
It took 95 years, but in 2001, the Mariners were able to match the Cubs’ win total — with a little help from a longer schedule. The M’s took full advantage of their roster, with John Olerud, Mike Cameron and Edgar Martinez playing in their prime and Bret Boone having a career year. The Mariners also benefited from career years from four different starting pitchers in Jamie Moyer(20-6), Freddy Garcia (18-6), Aaron Sele (15-5) and Paul Abbott (17-4). But the main piece to the puzzle was the arrival of Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro immediately led the league in batting average and hits. However, the Mariners were ousted in the ALCS in five games by the defending champion Yankees, who finished 21 games behind Seattle in the regular season. They are the only team on this list not to make it to the World Series.

 

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