September is approaching fast, and normally with the Nationals, it’s when we can turn our attention back to the downtrodden team and see some young prospects get a shot with the Major League club. Instead, this year the Nats will be entering September as perhaps favorites to win the division, let alone grab one of the two wild card spots.
But that doesn’t stop the roster from expanding, and it doesn’t stop the minor league season from ending around Labor Day, so we’ll still get to see a youngster or two. Remember that in order to be a September callup, a player has to be on the 40 man roster. I will use today’s 40 man and assume it won’t change by the weekend, but of course it probably will. Here’s a few guys to look out for:
Corey Brown – He had an incredible season in the minors, he’s a strong defensive CF, and he’s already hit his first Major League homer this year. Hopefully he’ll get to play some more – maybe to rest a seemingly fatigued Bryce Harper once in a while.
Sandy Leon – It’s pretty typical to bring up a 3rd catcher to help rest the top two guys during September, especially when you see the playoffs ahead of you. I’d expect him to get some playing time as well.
Jhonatan Solano – He’s currently injured but when he comes back he may be able to get a few games in as well. He’s not the hitter that Leon is, but he isn’t a bad catcher. Depending where they are in the race, as September rolls on, they both may see some playing time.
Yunesky Maya – Others might not put him up here, but why not? He can add to the bullpen, he’s pitched quite well lately, and at the very least he could help rest arms in blowout games.
Chris Marrero – A big fat maybe here. They don’t have a ton of need for a righty 1B right now since they seem pretty comfortable with Moore, and he’s rehabbing a hammy injury. Then again, since he’s missed most of August, they may want him up with the club to get any work available.
Carlos Rivero – You want to rest Ryan Zimmerman, right? Of course you do, so…Steve Lombardozzi will get some reps there. BUT… but… you could also give Carlos Rivero some time. Although he’s not really a prospect, he’s hit quite well in AAA this year, and he’s only 24 so it’s possible.
Chien-Ming Wang – If he’s healthy, I assume he’ll be on the team. Of course, I assume he won’t be healthy.
Eury Perez - Ok, so there’s the idea that as a righty center fielder, he could be the guy to spell Harper in CF against some tough lefties. But I have my doubts that they think the 22 year old is ready for this, and if they want to sit Harper, they’ll put Werth in CF and put Moore in for Harper.
Anthony Rendon – Well, he is on the 40 man roster, and he is healthy right now. But he’s had less than 150 PAs in his pro career, and hasn’t been hitting in AA anyway. They’ll probably just let him sit until they send him off to the Arizona Fall League.
Matt Purke – He’s on the minor league DL, but since he’s on the 40 man, I figured I’d include him. He’s working down in Viera on getting healthy, but also on improving his delivery. I just can’t see any reason to bring him up.
Ryan Perry – If you haven’t been paying attention, you might think it’s because he’s stunk. After all, he was on the Nats this year as a reliever, and in 7 games, he stunk. And in 11 appearances at Syracuse, he was alright but nothing spectacular (4.50 ERA, 12 IP, 14 K, 7 BB) – so the Nats decided to send him down to AA Harrisburg and try him out as a starter. He’s been great, posting a 1.86 ERA in 11 starts. Keith Law says he’s not missing bats, so maybe it’s nothing special. Then again, Kevin Goldstein has a more measured take. Do they think of this as anything more than a 24 year old guy succeeding in a league he should? I don’t know, but I’d bet they won’t want to use him out of the bullpen, so there would be little point in calling him up.