The Toronto Blue Jays have started their September Call Ups by bringing up five, which is an interesting mixed bag
The Toronto Blue Jays have started their September call ups by adding five to their roster. While they are likely not finished with the shuffling, the names on the trip up to Toronto lead to some interesting discussion.
Michael Saunders, Carlos Ramirez, Luke Maille, Teoscar Hernandez, Richard Urena are the Blue Jays callups.
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) September 1, 2017
It is a tad surprising to see Michael Saunders make his return to Toronto. After an abysmal second half last season, he landed in Philly and hit .205 in 61 games. He hit 6 HR, but continued his inability to be effective at the dish. He didn’t strike out at quite the prolific rate he did in 2016, but 24% is still rather hefty. His walk rate also went down this season. His defense wasn’t as bad as we saw last year, according to Fangraphs metrics. But, his addition seems to be rather superfluous. The big league club already has its four outfielders in Jose Bautista, Kevin Pillar, Steve Pearce and Ezequiel Carrera. They also will have to figure out how to get Teoscar Hernandez playing time.
Hernandez came to Toronto at the July 31st Trade Deadline and went directly to Buffalo. But, with Bautista unlikely to return next season, it would make the most sense to pencil Hernandez in the right field spot. The 24 yr old has some big league time with 4 HR in 41 games in 2016. His 2017 numbers in AAA (between Houston and Toronto) are certainly worthy of a look for a big league job:
He shows some pop, albeit maybe not as much as you would like to see from a corner outfielder, but he also brings an element of speed that the Blue Jays are sorely lacking. Having him come up in September allows the Blue Jays to get an early start on assessing his readiness to potentially take over for a franchise icon. Well, putting it that way might be a tad unfair to everyone involved. Perhaps, we’ll just say he’s getting an early try out for a big league outfield job.
Luke Maile re-joins the Blue Jays after hitting the disabled list. There won’t be many people getting excited about the return of the Maile-man. He has been a well below offensive performer during his time in Toronto. But, consider what the job of a backup catcher is. They need to come in and play passable defense and anything they chip in with the bat is a bonus. He’s been worth 3 DRS this season. Considering the bout of passed balls, etc we’ve witnessed over the last little while, Maile type defense would be refreshing. He will join Miguel Montero and Raffy Lopez on the list of “not-Russell Martin” options in Toronto.
Richard Urena is a young infielder who has seen himself land in the 11th spot of Toronto’s 2017 Top Prospects list. The switch hitter is still just 21 yrs old and has seen his time mostly at shortstop, but has some innings at second base. He looks to slot in behind Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney on the team’s roster. With Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis both out for the year, Urena very well could see his share of playing time in the final month of the season.
Carlos Ramirez is a former outfielder turned pitcher. The 26 year old righty pitched in New Hampshire and Buffalo this season, compiling a 3-0 record with a 0.00 ERA. He has 37.2 innings in 25 games, with 45 strike outs to 10 walks. He has not given up a home run in 2017. He finished 8 games and has 3 saves. He will be an interesting addition to the Blue Jays bullpen. Heck, his presence alone could mean a rest for guys like Danny Barnes and Ryan Tepera, who have been piling up the inning totals.
These call ups represent a varying levels of intrigue. Is Ramirez just “a guy” they hope can provide relief for the relievers? Is Hernandez getting an early try out? Exactly how does this organization view the future of Urena? What in the world will happen with Michael Saunders? These are the types of questions that come about this time of year. We can read into September call ups in many different ways. Have at it!
*Featured Image credit: C Stem- JFtC
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