The Reds minor league season is coming to a close and that means call-ups are around the corner. Recently, I talked to the Triple-A Louisville Bats manager Jody Davis about who he thinks should get the call to contribute to the major league team.

The first name out of his mouth made it to Great American Ballpark before I had the chance to type this up – Brian O’Grady. Davis had this to say about him, “I think he’s done everything that could be asked of him to deserve that chance. He’s shown he can play defense at first base and centerfield and offensively, he’s done everything you can ask a guy to do.”

After that, most of the names were pitchers, as you’d expect. He mentioned Sal Romano, Matt Bowman, Jimmy Herget, and Jackson Stephens as guys who could all help give some rest to the Reds regular bullpen arms. When it came to Stephens, though, he had this to say, “At times, he looks like he’s a little bored to be here.”

There’s also R.J. Alaniz, who was acquired from the Mariners and has been putting together quite a run in Louisville. You could, frankly, imagine almost any pitcher on the 40 getting a call up as soon as rosters expand. Those who do will probably tell you something about who’s in the plans for next year.

I asked about additional bats to see if he had anyone else in mind.

Christian Colon was mentioned, but that seems unlikely. Colon has had a good year, but he’s 30 and not on the 40-man roster.

When asked about Alex Blandino, Sweet was enthusiastic. He noted that, despite the extended time off, “He’s been putting it together. His at-bats are getting better and he’s played solid defense.” Blandino is on the 40-man roster and is quite likely to be a part of the Reds call-ups.

Other possible position players may include Jose Siri, but that seems unlikely. Siri just got back to Louisville after spending most of the year in Chattanooga. He had one game with the Bats earlier this year, thanks to some injuries.

Interestingly, this is the last year this many players can be called up. Next year, rosters will only be allowed to expand to 28 in September. While it’s understandable that MLB wants to prevent teams from having approximately 7,000 relievers on the team, it likely means the end of reward call-ups, where guys who’ve been great in the organization get a month in the majors and a chance to show what they can do. Instead, teams will almost certainly call-up which ever up-and-down relievers happen to be in Triple-A when rosters expand.

13 Responses

  1. Tommy loves Joey

    Off topic: I seem to recall that this blog ran a series on the history of the National league central teams – like how the Reds, Cardinals, Parrots, and Cubs got started. I’ve searched online for that series and can’t find it. If I’m remembering correctly, I think it would be a great time to rerun it!

  2. SteveO

    If Stephens seems bored, DFA him and give his roster spot to Kuhnel. I’d like to see Kuhnel up with the Reds this year.

    • Doc

      Stephens also has looked ineffective in the chances he has been given at the MLB level. Bored and ineffective is not a good resume combination.

      • Matt WI

        Agreed. Jackson Stephens is not somebody I want to see making pitches from the mound on the big club.

  3. vegastypo

    Well, to me, the basic question is, are these guys gonna actually — I dunno — PLAY? Or just have a better per diem while the regulars go out there day after day? I never see the point of the call-ups for guys to sit, unless there is merit to just letting them ‘soak up some MLB atmosphere.’

    • Curt

      whenever they’ve given the young guys time, good things have happened, at least no worse than any of the regulars. Yet still they drag feet. O well..

    • LWblogger2

      I don’t have nearly the problem with them sitting after a September 1st call up versus an earlier call up. Why? The MiLB season ends in September and any playing time these guys get in MLB is better than not playing at all. Before September 1st, I’d rather see actual prospects who get called up play versus sitting the bench. I think it makes them a little stale and they lose valuable playing time in the minors when that happens. After Sep 1st, no issue with them mostly sitting.

  4. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I see at least 2 pitchers. As for hitters, I see O’Grady, Crook, Blandino, Refsnyder, or Colon, one of them.

    • jbonireland

      I don’t believe Crook, Refsnyder or Colon are on the 40 man. You have to be on the 40 man to be called up.

  5. Matthew O'Neal

    Next year with roster expansion, even though only 3 players can be called up, is it set in stone once those 3 are up that they’re the three? Or could the Reds call up Jimmy Herget, for example, have him pitch a 2 or 3 inning relief stint, then “option” him and call up a new 28th man?

  6. Hotto4Votto

    Would definitely like to see Kuhnel given a shot and added to the roster. He should probably just go ahead and take Hernandez’ spot. Would like to see Romano, Herget, and Reed (if healthy) added to help the bullpen. If not Reed then maybe think about Collins or Finnegan as another lefty (Reed to 60-day in this case to make room).
    Once Casali’s back he can fill the additional catcher role, or maybe they carry Graterol as well once he’s back for extra insurance/flexibility.
    As far as other position players I only really Blandino having a strong case. If Siri had hit the ground running at AAA, then maybe just to have a true CF on the roster, but he’s had some initial struggles there.

  7. RedsMonk65

    Blandino up. Peraza down. PLEASE

    And anybody who can pitch in relief!

  8. Curt

    “I think he’s done everything that could be asked of him to deserve that chance. He’s shown he can play defense at first base and centerfield and offensively, he’s done everything you can ask a guy to do.” -Jody Davis on O’Grady being most deserved call up.

    So now O’Grady is up and it looks like he will be directly VanMetered to the pine. Awesome. Time for Votto’s Lifetime achievement treatment to go away.