September is here, bringing with it a chance for rookies to get their first look at the majors by way of a call-up to newly-expanded rosters. While usually a playoff race would make playing time relatively scarce on a team like the Red Sox, all signs point to things being different this year thanks to a plethora of injuries and a deep deficit in the A.L. East to start the month.
So who are we likely to see? To start with, there's a group of guys we already have seen. Eric Patterson, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Dustin Richardson were the first bunch of that group to get the call, after being promoted today. Still waiting in Triple-A, though, are Michael Bowden and Josh Reddick.
We've seen Michael Bowden much more recently then Reddick, having been called up as part of the bullpen shuffling around the trade deadline. While he did get pounded a bit, allowing four runs in just six innings, he did show some good peripherals with six strikeouts and just one walk to compensate for some of the hard hits allowed. Bowden has only pitched one game since returning to the minors, going 1.2 scoreless innings with two walks and three strikeouts.
Josh Reddick is perhaps the most interesting player who could see a call-up. He's never cashed in on his opportunities in Boston since being promoted straight from Double-A in 2009, and Pawtucket has been even less kind to him for many of the ensuing months (a .373 OPS in 18 games in 2009 is a highlight), but things have started to click in a hurry for Reddick. A .767 OPS in June lead to .799 in July before Reddick started tearing the cover off the ball in August with a .996 mark, including eight home runs. He's still not walking any, but he's not striking out either, and it might be the attempt to change his game that really threw him off in the first place. The guy has big power, and can put the bat on the ball, so why not let him swing away?
There's not much in the way of new players of interest, but one name stands out: Lars Anderson. After a tremendously disappointing 2009, Lars came out on fire in Double-A Portland this year, earning the promotion to Pawtucket after just 17 games. It hasn't been a seamless transition for Lars, but he's been improving as the season has gone on, and his line of .302/.355/.485 in the last 45 games is a lot less worrisome than the .233/.328/.345 figure from 2009. Then again, it's no guarantee that Lars does get the nod-he's been noted as something of a "head case", and an early look at major league pitching might not be what the doctor ordered for a once-top prospect who has done a lot to rebuild his status.
After Lars, there's a smattering of less impressive or less likely players. The Red Sox do have a lot of room available on their 40-man roster if they want it thanks to all the players they could easily move to the 60-day disabled list. Guys like Dusty Brown and Mark Wagner could provide depth at catcher, though that playing time would likely be spent better on Saltalamacchia. Righty Robert Coello has seen mixed results since a promotion from Portland, but has performed well enough out of the pen to deserve a look.
While the Red Sox do have some interesting players at Double-A who we might want to see, there's little chance that the Sox will give them so early a call up. So that likely means no early peeks at Jose Iglesias' glove or Ryan Lavarnway and Anthony Rizzo's big bats.
Other possible call-ups would likely be back-ups in the Aaron Bates or Bubba Bell, and Gil Velazquez variety-just there in case, and not likely to be claimed when they're inevitably removed from the 40-man roster-or possibly a veteran like Rich Hill, just to see if he's worth keeping around.