September is always such a magical time for baseball. Pennant chases are heating up, Wild Card races are building suspense, and the Rangers aren’t close to being a part of either of them. So why do you say that September is a magical time for baseball? Two words: roster expansion. Today I’m going to take a peak into which players might be making their debut in the show when those active rosters expand from 25 to 40 players.
Some of these guys are old and familiar faces, while some are like a hipster’s favorite band (meaning you’ve probably never heard of them).
Bullpen: Spencer Patton has been dominant in his 13 games since coming over in a trade that sent Jason Frasor to the Royals. The 26 year old righty has finished all but 2 of his games in the PCL and is 3/3 in save opportunities. He has allowed just 3 earned runs in 14 innings and only 2 unintentional walks. Patton has been drumming up whiffs at a fantastic rate of 12.9 K’s per 9 innings. Spencer Patton could play a critical role in the 2015 Rangers bullpen so look for him to make a strong case to start the season in the majors next year.
Matt West already made his Arlington debut this year but was sent back to Round Rock after 3 MLB appearances. In his last 10 games in Round Rock he has a 4.73 ERA and hasn’t been particularly inspiring. However, his fastball will get him some time in the show.
Ben Rowen the submariner also has made his major league debut this season and, like Matt, was sent back down to Round Rock. Outside of two mop-up outings, Rowen has been decent in his last month of play. His 4.42 ERA in his last 10 appearances is skewed by those mop up outings. The sinker baller will continue to get outs as long as he keeps the ball down in the zone forcing many a ground ball out.
Infield: Luis Sardinas is another familiar name that could see Arlington this September. In 54 AAA games Sardi is slashing .282/.301/.366. Luis has been much less aggressive on the basepaths this year, only attempting 12 steals and being successful 8 times. His slick defense at shortstop will get him some playing time in September and will be his ticket to a 25 man active roster in the future.
Ryan Rua the second baseman/corner infielder/corner outfielder with right handed power is still doing lovely things in AAA. He is hitting .301 in Round Rock and slugging .488 as well. Rua is eligible to be picked up by another team in the upcoming rule 5 draft if he isn’t protected on the 40 man roster, and he will definitely be taken by a club if given the option. Rua could be a valuable bench piece on the big club next year in a Jeff Baker 2013 type of role.
Outfield: Jared Hoying is having a heck of a season for Round Rock this year. Spending most of his time in center field, Hoying has clubbed 24 bombs, 31 doubles, and 6 triples. He is 25 years old and bats left handed, making him even more of a rarity: a left handed center fielder power bat. He is currently hitting .263 and has 17 steals in 23 tries on the year. I don’t know where Hoying fits in next year, but this impressive season sure has turned some heads.