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Who will the Twins call up in September?

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The Twins have several options for adding pitching and bats to the big league roster this September. Let’s take a look at the most likely moves.

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at Philadelphia Phillies
PALKA SMASH—but not nearly as much as last year.
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

September is right around the corner, and in baseball, September means teams get to stock their bullpen and bench with randos from the minor leagues. Just kidding! Teams are still limited to the players on their 40-man roster, so they aren’t complete randos—though it may seem that way to some.

Teams can technically call up all fifteen of the players not on the 25-man roster and travel around with forty guys, but they never actually do that.

So who are the Twins likely to call up this year? Let’s take a look.

Injuries

Let’s get this out of the way first—injured players aren’t on the active 25-man roster. They’re injured. However, they are still taking up a space on the 40-man roster unless they are on the 60-day DL.

Of the 15 players currently on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but not on the active roster, eight are injured:

  1. J.T. Chargois (Minor league DL)
  2. Adalberto Mejia (10-Day MLB DL)
  3. Hector Santiago (10-Day MLB DL)
  4. Dietrich Enns (10-Day MLB DL)
  5. Robbie Grossman (10-Day MLB DL)
  6. Miguel Sano (10-Day MLB DL)
  7. Jason Castro (7-Day MLB DL)
  8. Fernando Romero (Minor league DL)

The two minor leaguers here—Chargois and Romero—aren’t going to get called up. They could technically be called up if they were activated before the end of the season, but it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen. Chargois has been on the DL since April and there hasn’t been any talk of him returning soon. Though Romero was just placed on the 7-day DL on Monday, he was already approaching his innings limit the Twins had for him this year.

As for the major leaguers on the DL, the Twins can simply activate them once they’re ready. The team doesn’t have to send anyone down since the rosters are expanded.

Available 40-man Players

After accounting for the injured, the Twins are left with seven minor leaguers on the 40-man roster who they could potentially call up:

  1. Buddy Boshers
  2. Felix Jorge
  3. Randy Rosario
  4. Aaron Slegers
  5. Nik Turley
  6. Engelb Vielma
  7. Daniel Palka

Buddy Boshers is definitely going to get called up. He’s been shuttling between Rochester and the majors all year anyway. Nik Turley is nearly a lock as well, since the Twins don’t really have any reason not to call him up. They can always use more arms!

Aaron Slegers was called up to make a spot start against the Indians back on August 17th, and he did quite well. He could eat some innings for the Twins as a long reliever or make some starts, so he’ll probably get called up as well.

As for position players, Daniel Palka is the most likely to get the call. Even though he’s only hitting .272/.324/.428 with twelve home runs this year in Triple-A, he missed a bunch of time with a broken finger. Palka has a lot of power, and could be a useful bat off the bench. It would also be an opportunity for Palka to get his feet wet in the majors.

As for the rest of these guys... they are more questionable. Engelb Vielma is a shortstop know for his good fielding, but he seems pretty redundant with Ehire Adrianza already on the big league team. While Felix Jorge and Randy Rosario both got surprise call-ups earlier this season, they both struggled and probably need more time in the minors.

Also, it’s important to note that the Twins may not call these guys up right away, because both the Red Wings and the Lookouts are headed to the minor league post-season. MLB teams are often reluctant to immediately call up their best minor leaguers and leave their affiliates high and dry for the playoffs. Since this is the first time the Twins have been through September call-ups with Derek Falvey and Thad Levine at the helm, I’m not sure how they feel about it. But even if they don’t call up some or all of those guys right away, they could still call them up later after their teams exit the playoffs.

Potential Non-40-man Call-ups

It’s still possible for the Twins to call-up players who aren’t on the 40-man roster, but it’s more complicated and less likely. Since the 40-man roster is currently full, the team would have to DFA a current player or move someone to the 60-day DL to make space for such a call-up.

Despite the complications, Paul Molitor indicated to reporters yesterday that the team plans to call up at least one player not on the 40-man roster.

The most likely call-up is Stephen Gonsalves. The Twins reportedly already considered calling up Stephen Gonsalves earlier this month before they went with Tim Melville instead. The Twins will have to add Gonsalves to the 40-man roster after the season ends to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, but it might be easier to do it then because they’ll be more likely to have open roster spots. Another reason the Twins might wait on Gonsalves is that he’s been battling some shoulder issues over the past year, and they may want to limit his pitching.

Another possible call-up is ByungHo Park. Though his .249/.306/.411 slash line in Triple-A this year isn’t impressive, Park’s been doing much better lately. He’s shown before he at least has the power to compete in the majors, and I already wrote a whole piece about how the Twins could easily add Park to the roster and remove him again to make space to protect prospects before the Rule 5 draft. Considering how few options the Twins have to call-up bats for the bench, it’s possible the Twins could do this—though I don’t expect them to.

According to reports, Molitor indicated that he wants another catcher while Jason Castro is on the DL. There are no other catchers on the 40-man roster, so they’d have to add one. If they did, it would most likely be Anthony Recker and his sweet ass. This seems super weird to me, though, since the Twins already have Chris Gimenez and Mitch Garver, and it doesn’t sound like Castro will be out that long. Why waste another 40-man spot on a journeyman, backup catcher?

In any case, if the Twins are, in fact, planning to call up a player not on the 40-man, they’ll have to make space. In the Park piece mentioned above, I suggested the Twins could move Hector Santiago to the 60-day DL to make another roster spot. Well, since then, Santiago has begun a minor league rehab stint, making that less likely. However, Santiago also reportedly topped out at 86 MPH in his first rehab start, so it’s uncertain if he’s actually healthy enough to rejoin the team.

The Twins could also move J.T. Chargois to the 60-day DL to make another spot. The only reason the team might not want to do that is that it would count against Chargois’s major league service time.

Bottom Line: The Most Likely Call-Ups

Given all of the above information, here are the top five players in my opnion who are most likely to get the call, ranked from most likely to least likely:

  1. Buddy Boshers
  2. Nik Turley
  3. Daniel Palka
  4. Aaron Slegers
  5. Felix Jorge

Who would you like to see the Twins call-up this September?