Expanded MLB Rosters
September is always a fun time for fans as some of the best of the best minor leaguers get an opportunity to audition at the big league level.
As the Seattle Mariners are in the midst of the perpetual rebuilding, there are always exciting new prospects coming through the M’s system.
I am assuming first off that the Mariners are likely not going to shuffle their 40 man roster much, if at all, this September so we are unlikely to see some of the more common names such as Taijuan Walker, James Paxton or Nick Franklin.
But as the roster expands this September there are five players that I would like to see have the opportunity to log in some bit league playing time.
D.J. Mitchell has been a solid reliever for the Rainiers this season. He is holding a 2.95 ERA and holds a WHIP of just 1.20.
While the Mariners may not have the need for another relief pitcher, Mitchell would benefit from sitting with some real experienced guys in the bullpen for some mentoring and a chance to see what areas of his game he can work on over the offseason to be ready to face major league level pitching.
Good relievers can make or break a game and it would be great for the Mariners to have more options coming into next spring.
I think this is pretty much a given as the expectation is that Danny Hultzen will be a strong contender for a starting rotation job with the the M’s come next March.
In order for that to happen Hultzen needs to be exposed to a starting experience at the major league level.
I am aware of people saying his arm is done for the year, but I”m not buying into that.
Danny is the only one of the three uber prospects that advanced to AAA this season, but in his time in Tacoma he is only 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP.
All that being said he has struck out 51 in only 42 innings of work. He is still in development, but a month in the majors could really help him prepare to be a contender in 2013.
Erasmo Ramirez has been with the big club several times already this season both as a reliever and as a starter. He would likely have continued with the team had it not been for an injury that sent him reeling back to the AAA level.
Ramirez shows some real quality stuff and at this point may have more of a shot at being a starter next year than any of the other current minor leaguers.
In AAA Ramirez is 5-3 with a 3.98 ERA.
The Italian born player showed a real commitment to play where ever and whenever he could, taking time on both corners of the infield and even out in left field.
Over the past 5 games for Tacoma, Alex Liddi has hit over a .500 average.
The real question is, with the current lineup, does Liddi have too many road blocks to be a serious contender for a job in Seattle.
Everyone has to take at least one shot in the dark right? The Mariners 2012 first round draft pick has already advanced to AA and is leading the Jackson Generals in average at .350 and an OPS of 1.084 and 3 home runs in just 11 games.
In order for the M’s to get Mike Zunino to the majors would mean adding him to the 40 man roster and having him skip AAA entirely.
That’s a lot for a guy that has only been playing professional baseball for about 2 months now.