Carrasco leads first wave of September callups

carrasco.jpg

September can be a tough time of year for
baseball buffs.

 

Those of you without TiVo are forced
to sit through 23 minutes of football coverage before catching any Major League
updates.

 

And if your favorite team has little hope of
playing deep into October, forget about it. You’re better off checking online
or reading the box scores.

 

It’s as if the only 10 contending teams
exist, and the rest are just for show.

 

But September offers another advantage to the
other 20 clubs: Callups.

 

Although every roster expands to 40 players,
only the teams with nothing left to lose have the liberty of sitting back and
letting the kids play.

 

A few Sept. 1 promotions worth watching:

 

Carlos Carrasco, SP, Indians: One of four prospects included in the Cliff Lee trade
last month, Carrasco got his first taste of big league hitting Tuesday, and the
results weren’t pretty. Some might even say ugly. The 22-year-old righty lost
his debut after lasting only three innings and surrendering six earned runs on
nine hits and three walks. Still, that’s no reason to give up on Carrasco,
who’s looked sharp since coming over from Philadelphia, ringing up a 3.19 ERA
and a 36/7 K/BB ratio for Triple-A Columbus. Growing pains lie ahead, but good
control and quality stuff could yield surprising results from Carrasco. The
Indians have every intention of leaving him in the rotation down the final
stretch.

 

Neil Walker, 3B, Pirates: Once highly regarded, Walker’s stock has fallen in
recent years as it does for so many high schools Draft picks. But five years
after the Pirates selected him 11th overall, he’s up, without a starting job
and without much expected of him. Plate discipline has always prevented Walker
from taking the next step. Then again, good plate discipline hasn’t exactly
helped Andy LaRoche make a strong case as the Bucs third baseman of the future,
has it? The mere presence of Walker — an imposing switch-hitter in the
batters’ box with plenty of pop — gives LaRoche reason to worry about his job
security.

 

Tyler Flowers, C/1B, White Sox: The centerpiece of the Javier Vazquez trade last
offseason, Flowers joins the White Sox after an impressive run across two Minor
League levels in which he combined for a .297 average and a .516 slugging
percentage. The major selling point is that his primary position is catcher.
Now, he’ll have a hard time unseating A.J. Pierzynski, who’s enjoying another
rock-solid campaign behind the dish, especially during a postseason run. That
said, the departure of Jim Thome freed up playing time on the South Side, and
Flowers could factor into the mix at DH as the end draws near.

 

 

–Alex
Cushing, MLB.com

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