In September, as you may know, baseball teams expand their rosters. Anyone on the 40 man roster can be on the team. And if they want to do something like drop someone who won’t even be playing for them in 2010, they can always add a guy here or there to the 40-man. And remember, the minor league season ends in a couple of weeks, so calling a guy up to ride the pine doesn’t hinder his chance to get professional ABs. Here’s a few guys who may see some action soon. Most of them you know, but we’ll look at how they’re playing these days:
On the 40 Man
Ross Detwiler – He is still a high end prospect – just ask in a baseball chat who’ll be the best non-Lannan/Strasburg/Zimmermann starter in the next two years, his name always comes up. Detwiler was sent down to AAA Syracuse in early July, and it was his first time at that level. The 23 year old lefty has struck out 22 in 21 1/3 innings, but he’s walked 11, which is a few too many. His ERA is 4.64, but that is on the back of one bad game. He is a guy who misses enough bats that he may be a good starter, although he has some work to do.
Shairon Martis – He’s still only 22, which is definitely young even for AAA, where he’s at now. Also, he’s 3-1 since being sent down there in late June. He’s also got a good K/BB ratio at 22/9 in 36 1/3 IP, not bad at all for a non-strikeout pitcher. But he isn’t keeping the ball down, his GB/FB ratio is .78 for Syracuse and he’s given up 5 HRs, leading to an ERA of 5.45, worse than his ERA with the Nats. He may get called up just to keep throwing, but he probably isn’t expected to do much yet.
Justin Maxwell – Unlike the previous two guys, he never really saw success in his brief stints up in the big leagues. But his ability to field and his speed could make him more useful than either than the pitchers in September. Despite his poor batting and complete lack of power earlier this yer, he has looked better playing in AAA. At 25, he’s going to have to show something soon. But while his .253/.360/.431 at Syracuse isn’t great, his 13 HRs and 28 SBs are nice, especially for a CF. If they could get him to hit a little more consistantly in the fall, he could be a useful 4th outfielder next spring.
Ian Desmond – You may not have heard of him, but he’s been one of the better prospects for this team recently. A middle infielder, the Nats are lacking in that category. While Guzman’s hitting, you leave him in, but he’s gone on some real dead streaks and is losing range. Desmond is a young SS with hopes to show something, and may have a chance. He was great in AA earlier year (.306/.372/.494), and in AAA he has gotten hits, been patient, but has had absolutely no power (.279/.374/.337). Similar splits happened last year when he moved from A to AA, so these may be growing pains while he adjust to the new level. Either way, if the bat shows signs of life, he could get in some games either at SS or at the Nats gaping 2B hole.
Marco Estrada – Not particularly young, not overpower, and not a prospect, he could still see some time with the ballclub thanks to all of his winning. Because that is important, too. He’s 7-4 with a 3.81 ERA for AAA Syracuse this year, striking out 82 while only walking 25. His appearances with the Nats weren’t good last year, but he’s another arm that could see some time in the majors, even if only trying to fill out some bullpen spots.
Not on the 40 Man
Mike Morse – An outfielder acquired for Ryan Langerhans from Seattle, he has hit well since coming in to the organization. He’s hit .333/.405/.539 for Syracuse, and is a righty that traditionally can really rake lefties. While he’s already 27, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come up to see if he’s the kind of right handed bench bat that NL teams love to have.
Drew Storen – Maybe, maybe not. He’s only pitched an inning above single-A. A PERFECT INNING. Seriously, though, he dominated in single A, so if he does the same at Harrisburg the next two weeks, he may be called up just to get a taste of the bigs.
Erik Arnesen – Another one I’m relatively doubtful about, he’s seen success but has only 16 starts at AA. A 3.48 ERA, and a 74 Ks to 22 BBs in 95 2/3 innings has been a plus. But the 25 year old 17th round pick probably will get some more time to prove himself in AA and eventually AAA before being asked to pitch to the big guys.
Stephen Strasburg – Of course, probably not. And they gotta sign him first. But if you knew he was gonna be making his debut, wouldn’t you want to go to that game? Or at least tune in?