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Projecting the Diamondbacks September Callups

Torey Luvullo Discusses potential reinforcements

MLB: Hirano Signs with Diamondbacks The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK


September call ups can be both an exciting and challenging time according to DBacks manager Torey Lovullo. As a long preface to this article, I would like to share some thought provoking comments Torey made during a lengthy pre game interview on August 25th. A little bit of editing for brevity and clarity:

Regarding the status of the call up list:

“We have some obvious candidates, and we have some other candidates that are going to fill specific needs.......... We haven’t gotten down to the actual list yet, but we have some really really good candidates that are definites and some other good candidates that have had great years and have performed that are getting consideration”

Regarding the prospect of getting some of the relievers from Reno back to Arizona and how much better can they make the Arizona bullpen:

“it’s gonna make us a click or two better, no doubt about it. The candidates that we’ve seen through the course of the year, they’ve come in here and gotten huge outs in big moments and two days later I’m sending them out.(Back to AAA) That’s hard to do. So it’ about persevering and learning and maturing and growing when you go down there each and every day and when you get back here you finally get ready for those big moments. I know that for those that will join us for the first time, or perhaps rejoin us, they’re going to be ready for this challenge, they know whats here. They know whats in front of us. They know that we’re right in the middle of a pennant race. And every pitch is going to matter so I know they’re going to be equipped and ready for that challenge.

(Also see end of this article for some thoughts on this)

One other very interesting point that was brought up was whether or not the team would bring up a 4th catcher. Torey said that was also something they were carefully considering, but that this would involve some 40 man roster spot changes. More on this later, but I guess we have gone from “all the shortstops” to “all the catchers” :)

Are you excited about getting these guys , whats the feeling in the room?

“I love the September callups because it’s something that they’ve earned and something that they’ve been waiting for . I’m sure individually they know if they’re going to be considered or not. When they finally get to the big leagues it’s always a fun time for me to interact with them . So for me, I’m super excited to have this group of players join us. Not only because they are going to re enforce us and help us win moments, but they’re going to get to a level that they’ve worked hard to get to and they deserve that month.

Thoughts about how expanded rosters change game from strategy standpoint:

I have my own personal thoughts. It’s probably a question where I might be getting myself in a little bit of trouble. But I’m going to go ahead and say that September baseball is a very tough month to manage baseball games because you just don’t know whats available on the bench and where the opposing manager is going to be coming from. They can pull a rabbit out of their hat. I feel like there should be per night a limit on the available number of players, and you have to make known that 30 of the 38 will be available. (Or 30 of the 40 if you have a full roster) will be available and this is the pool of players you are going to have to pull from. It creates a little bit of a challenge to prepare , which I’m fine with but ….I remember Buck Showalter in 2011 started a reliever and pitched one reliever every inning, and you just didn’t know where he was coming from. And he ended up winning the game. It was a very crafty move . Obviously Buck is one of the best. But that’s what you can walk into in certain situations. He was matching up from the first inning on. That’s my own personal thought. I know MLB has a great handle on that. It’s a very unique month for that reason, but it’s an exciting month on the other side that you get to see a lot of these players perform.

Special Note: Torey said 38 in the comment above, which was a little unconscious slip on is part perhaps tipping off potential moves. The Dbacks have 39 on the 40 man roster, with Taijuan Walker and Shelby Miller on the 60 day DL. (So they don’t count towards the 40) Jake Lamb is on the 10 Day DL, but could be moved to 60 Day to open another spot. So really the D Backs have two open spots on the 40 man if they want to use them.

Team Website 40 Man Roster List

Baseball Reference 40 Man Roster List

Also of note : Reno will not be in the PCL playoffs this year, so everyone on that roster is available to recall September 1.


I created the below table for a quick guide. Not everyone is going to agree with how I categorized. I’m simply offering educated guesses here. See player comments below the table. I did not include stats. The Highlighted player link in Red will take you to their Baseball-Reference Minor League Register Page. (Which shows both Minor and Major league stats).

When I say probable, I mean like 85-90 % chance of getting a call up. I’m not totally clear on the health of all players, or any other underlying issues that may prevent a call up. But figure the probables are going to be here barring unforeseen circumstances. The possibles are coin flips. If the team were to bring all of them up, that would give them 38 players in the dugout. My guess is they go with a few less than that. So figure 3, maybe 4 of the 6 possibles get the call. The players listed as unlikely are just that.....although 1 or 2 of them might have a very outside shot.

Projected Callups

Name 40 Man Y/N Position Bats Throws LOCK Probable Possible Unlikely
Name 40 Man Y/N Position Bats Throws LOCK Probable Possible Unlikely
Chris Owings Y Utility R R x
Silvino Bracho Y Pitcher R R x
Jarrod Dyson Y 10 Day DL OF L R x*
Jimmie Sherfy Y Pitcher R R x
Jake Barrett Y Pitcher R R x
Christian Walker Y PH R R x
Socrates Brito Y OF L L x
Joey Krehbiel Y Pitcher R R x
Matt Koch Y Pitcher L R x
Braden Shipley Y Pitcher R R x
Ildemaro Vargas Y Infield S R x
Randall Delgado N Pitcher R R x
Yoan Lopez N Pitcher R R x
Anthony Recker N C R R x
Kevin Cron N Infield R R x
Domingo Leyba Y Infield S R x
Jared Miller Y Pitcher L L x
Kristopher Negron N Infield R R x
Yasmany Tomas N OF R R x
Rey Fuentes N OF L L x
Shelby Miller Y 60 Day DL Pitcher R R x


Chris Owings : Sure to be recalled. His defensive flexibility and base running will be utilized for sure down the stretch. Having his worst season as a professional at the plate, he hasn’t exactly used his time in Reno to address his biggest flaw. 1 Walk, 13 K’s in 76 AAA PA’s. Chris is a non tender candidate after the season.

Silvino Bracho : You know he is the one Torey most likely referencing in his comment above about the difficulty of sending guys back down. Doesn’t actually have great numbers in Reno, but for sure he is coming back in September.

Jarrod Dyson : The Asterisk next to his name in the table is due to his groin injury. Torey said they aimed to have him run the bases this week for the first time, which is a big step obviously , but his return is not imminent. If he is healthy, he will surely be activated, if not right away on September 1st, perhaps later in the month. Hopefully he does not suffer any setbacks in his recovery process.


Jimmie Sherfy : Really should be part of the Locks group. The only reason I didn’t put him there is because obviously the team has some reservations about him or he would have been pitching in the majors this year. But he is atop the “probables” list which is kind of a ranking as well.

Jake Barrett : Ditto

Christian Walker : Another strong season for the 27 yr old. Walker has a pretty good Pinch Hitting Track Record , and almost surely will get some chances in September.

Socrates Brito : The 25 yr old had the best year of his minor league career and should get some Left Handed pinch hit at bats and perhaps even a start or two in the outfield depending on the health of other players or standings position of the team. Should get an extended look next year in MLB for the first time. Platoon splits still suggest a platoon player though.


Joey Krehbiel : The hard throwing righty struggled badly for a few weeks after getting sent back down in mid July, but over his last 7 appearances, 5 13 IP he hasn’t allowed a run, walked nobody, and struck out 11. I think that Krehbiel could just as easily slot into the probables. I think a lot of people like him better than Sherfy and Barrett.

Matt Koch : Koch did a reasonably good job for the team filling in the rotation, and could get recalled as a reward for those efforts, and to fill a long relief/ mopup role. The problem here is he has an ERA near 11 for the month of August. (Although his most recent start was a good one)

Braden Shipley : Working mostly as a reliever in Reno this year, he has an ERA over 6.00 . Poor man’s Matt Koch ? The only reason Koch and Shipley are listed this high is because they are pitchers with MLB experience.

Ildemaro Vargas : He has had a decent season and of course had the 35 Games hit streak. But it’s a coin flip whether or not he gets a callup, due to the numbers crunch

Randall Delgado : Has been pitching well in Reno since being DFA’d. Due to MLB experience could be reinstated possibly. I think it would depend more on the scouting reports on his stuff and velocity than on his results.

Yoan Lopez: He has had a really good season and has the kind of stuff that could allow him to do something like what Sherfy did last year.

Of course he would have to be added to the 40 man roster, but he has to be added to the 40 Man by November 1st anyway.

In 60 innings at AA Jackson, Lopez has a 3.02 ERA back by a 2.89 FIP, but a 4.22 RA-9, due to 8 unearned runs . K/9 12.5, BB/9 3.6, HR/9 0.6,

An intriguing option

Anthony Recker: The 34 yr old journeyman backup catcher is not on the 40 man roster. So he would need to be added to one of those open spots. Would seem like a long shot...but he actually has some power, which he has displayed in both MLB and this year in Reno, and as mentioned above....”All the catchers”

Kevin Cron : He is certainly one of the guys Torey was talking about being considered due to having a big season. But the don’t need him for his defense, and if it’s a choice between him and Walker to be the RH pinch hitter off the bench, it’s not much of a choice I think.


Domingo Leyba: Hasn’t really done anything to wow anybody this year in AA, but he’s on the 40 man so I put him in the table.

Jared Miller : Pretty sad what happened here. Guy must be going through agony. 15 more walks in 6 August innings, 66 BB in 45 IP for the year. I just can’t imagine.

Kristopher Negron: DFA’d to make space for Jon Jay in June, he certainly didn’t let it get him down, as since returning to Reno he’s hit .308/.379./569 .948 OPS. I wouldn’t be surprised if the career minor leaguer doesn’t get one more shot to play in the majors, but I doubt it’s this year.

Yasmany Tomas: 11 Walks, 101 K’s in 366 PA’s. Torey was asked about him by one of the other reporters, and TL offered platitudes about his effort, trying to do everything he was asked to do, but struggling with consistency. However I followed up with a question about the reports on his defense. Torey had this to say:

“Yeah,…uh…there have been reports on his defense. Um…slight improvements, and those are some of the challenges that we told him when we sent him out in spring training. That was very very important to me. To be a true Arizona Diamondback you have to play on both sides of the baseball. And he knows that, and he knows what it’s going to take to get back to this level.

The phrase damning with feint praise comes to mind. Tomas will not be added back on to the 40 man roster this September.

Rey Fuentes: I think Rey was brought back just to be depth in case there were a slew of injuries to the CF depth and they needed someone defensively competent to fill in just in case. But with Jay in the fold, and AJ healthy, Dyson on the mend, and Brito getting some more looks in CF too, there is no space for Fuentes and his defense and speed.

Shelby Miller: Shelby is still on the 60 day DL. Torey’s somewhat interesting comment is that Shelby only had general discomfort, but there was never anything seriously wrong. He also mentioned that Shelby is throwing out to 100 feet now, and the next step would be to maybe spin a few breaking pitches off of flat ground. But he emphasized there is no timetable for his return. The only scenario I can see him pitching again this year is if they want to show case him for potential trade during the off season.


One final area I wanted to touch on in this very long article. Back on August 8th I wrote a short article comparing the performance of the veteran relievers recently acquired to the minor league depth options we had in house. As we consider the return of some of the minor league relievers and some of Torey’s comments, I thought we should take another look at that in the current context.

These are results based Tables, simply showing ERA/FIP, Inherited Runners, gmLI, which is the leverage the pitchers have been asked to face, (Over 1 higher than average leverage, below 1, lower than average leverage), and SD/MD, or Shut Downs and Meltdowns.

The 3 groups are :

Cut Bait Guys (De La Rosa, Salas, Delgado)

MiLB Depth Guys (Bracho, Sherfy, Barrett, Krehbiel, Koch,Shipley)

Veteran Replacements: (Ziegler, Andriese, Diekman)

Reliever Replacement Options

Side by Side Summary G IP ERA FIP IR IRS IRS% gmLI SD MD
Side by Side Summary G IP ERA FIP IR IRS IRS% gmLI SD MD
Cut Bait guys 89 82.0 4.61 4.92 42 18 43% 0.95 15 16
MiLB Depth 35 39.0 2.77 3.31 28 8 29% 0.82 5 3
Veteran Replacements 29 26.7 4.73 5.29 8 2 25% 0.59 2 5

Now, keep in mind when reviewing the above table, that the following players were given up so that the team could bring in those veterans instead of going with the pitchers they already had: (Links to BB REF Player Pages). We already know there is at least one major leaguer already in this group of players. I’m pretty sure there will be at least 1 or 2 more.

Michael Perez

Brian Shaffer

Wei-Chieh Huang

Joshua Javier

Tommy Eveld