September 1 roster expansion is right around the corner. It should be noted that this is the last year that teams can expand up to 40 players maximum. Starting in 2020 there will be 26 man rosters, through August 31, and then in September team’s must carry 28 players, so effectively there will only be two additional spots available in September. You can read more about the rule changes HERE
The players listed below are all names off the team’s 40 Man Roster which by my count has 38 players if you don’t count players on 60 day IL. However if Luke Weaver comes off the 60 day IL at some point in September they would then have room to add one player not currently on 40 man roster. Daulton Varsho anyone ?
*Player names are directly linked to their Fangraphs page.
After years struggling in the Baltimore organization, Stefan Chrichton came over last year and was hammered in Reno to the tune of 10+ ERA. But this year has been a different story. By PCL standards, his numbers there have been downright stingy. And he has done reasonably well across his four four separate call ups. Actually he didn’t allow any runs in 11 of his first 12 outings, but allowed 5 in a disastrous loss to the Nationals June 16th. However he allowed runs in all three of his outings from his most recent call up. He’s also allowed 3 of 8 (38%) of inherited runners to score. Still, seems like a good bet he gets to come back.
It’s been somewhat of a lost season in terms of Jon Duplantier’s development as a starting pitcher. Note that one of those 14 minor league starts was actually a 3 inning outing on August 20th after being optioned back out. His most recent outing August 25th was a relief outing. Torey Lovullo indicated Dup would be working out of the bullpen the rest of the year, regardless of if he’s in Reno or MLB. His command of his breaking stuff has been lacking, as can be seen in his walk rates, and his 4 Seam/Sinker fastballs have only averaged 92.1 MPH, far from the mid 90’s heat we were expecting and have seen in the past.
Joel Payamps has already been called up once so far and got into a couple of games. There is a pretty decent chance he’ll get another longer look in September. He’s pretty straight forward as a power pitcher with a Fastball Slider combo. We talked about whether or not he gets the opportunity the start next year the other day. But the team may see him more as a bullpen option.
Robby Scott has two things going for him: He’s left handed, and he used to be in the Boston organization. He hasn’t done anything to really warrant more time in MLB, but with Andrew Chafin and TJ McFarland pretty much gassed as we head to September, it’s a good bet the lefty with the funky delivery is recalled.
Jimmie Sherfy is the all time Reno saves leader. That’s not a good thing. At 27 there are serious questions about the team’s intentions towards him. It seems like some of his bullets may have been wasted in AAA. His recorded FB velocity is down from 94 in 2017 to 92 in his brief MLB appearances this year. It’s true he’s always walked a lot of guys, and 2019 was no exception. Much of his run prevention has been predicated on avoiding home runs, which is no mean feat in the PCL this year. Still, it’s been somewhat mystifying why he hasn’t been granted more opportunity to sink or swim in MLB. It’s not like the team has had lock down veteran options the last couple of years that should have prevented him from getting a shot. He did miss over a month with some sort of Oblique or core injury. Not quite sure what it was. Wasn’t shoulder/elbow related as far as I know.
Bo Takahashi had a pretty good year working in the pitching friendly Southern League. The young Brazilian of Japanese descent was actually called up already this year, but did not get into a game. Look for him to get another chance and perhaps get in a few games next month. However there may be pushed back a little depending on the Southern League playoffs.
Emilio Vargas may seem like a long shot for a callup this year, but he is on the 40 man roster and has enjoyed a good Southern League campaign as well. He was dominant in his most recent start, going 7 innings and allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, 2 walks and 5 K’s. He throws a Fastball/Slider/Change and has excellent command.
Caleb Joseph, previously a member of the three catcher regime briefly, is likely to get called up to resume that 3rd catcher role for the month. Never to be confused with an offensive catcher, he is in the organization because of his glove and ability to handle pitchers. He does have occasional pop however.
Kevin Cron had a historic season for Reno this year, smashing 38 HR in just 362 PA. It’s amazing to look at a 1.225 OPS and realize that’s “only” a 179 wRC+. His prodigious power and ability to just disintegrate a baseball was on display during his call ups this year. Unfortunately so was his shakey defense and propensity to strike out. However his K rate has improved over the years in the minors, and with a longer look may be able to get his MLB K Rate under 25%. If he can do that, he has a chance at real success in the majors. The problem for him now of course is with Christian Walker’s emergence as a solid every day first baseman, where will Cron’s opportunity come from ? He will be 27 next year.
Domingo Leyba’s previous career high for homeruns was 6. This year he hit 19. Last year he had a .725 OPS in the Southern League, but his wRC+ was 109. This year has a .889 OPS in the PCL, and his wRC+ is 111. Hopefully being in that crazy league didn’t mess up his approach. From 2016-2018 combined he had a 9% walk rate. This year it’s just 6.5%. It’s hard to blame him in that environment, but he is not going to provide that kind of power in the majors, so he’ll need to take his walks. We can’t judge by his brief callups, as all his PA were pinch hit appearances.