With the Angels hammered by the injury bug as of late, the date that the Angels front office and coaching staff have circled on their calendar is September 1st. The expansion of active rosters from 25 to 40 should bring depth to an Angels roster in need of it.
I’ve gathered a list of potential September call ups for the Halos as they hit the home stretch of the 2014 season. Those on this list are currently with a minor league affiliate of the Angels as of August 11.
1. Cam Bedrosian – Relief Pitcher– 35 G/ 38 IP/1-0 record/0.95 ERA/16 Saves
Cam “Bedrock” Bedrosian has had a couple cups of tea with the Angel this year and should be an automatic call up come September. In his latest call up before being sent down to AAA Salt Lake, Cam threw 3 2/3 innings with 5 strikeouts and scattering 4 hits showing much better control of his stuff than his first call up. His numbers at AA Arkansas have been nothing short of solid, posting a 0.90 FIP and an 80.7% LOB percentage. He will give the deep Angels bullpen some extra rest going into the postseason.
2. C.J. Cron – First Baseman – .333 AVG/.382 OBP/.587 SLG/6 HRs/87 RBIs
CJ has spent the majority of the year at the Major League level, but his recent struggles at the plate and lack of playing time has forced him down to AAA. Despite his struggles, CJ has posted a wOBA (weighted on-base average) of .331 and wRAA(weighted runs above average) of 3.2 in his limited time with the Angels. Cron should be back with the team at the September mark with some extra plate appearances under his belt at Salt Lake.
3. Brennan Boesch – Outfielder – .326 AVG/.379 OBP/.628 SLG/22 HRs/75 RBIs
Boesch has three full seasons of Major League experience with the Detroit Tigers and has put together a solid year with AAA Salt Lake. Since the AAA All-Star break he’s posted a .337 average with 10 HRs and 25 RBIs but more impressive is he’s improved his eye, cutting down his strike out rate. He carries an excellent .426 wOBA translating to 26.2 wRAA–for minor league comparison purposes, Mike Trout had a wOBA of .421 & 29.5 wRAA in his last full season of the minors in 2011. Though he still strikes out at a high rate, he will be valuable as a bat of the bench.
4. Luis Jimenez – Utility Infielder – .288 AVG/.328 OBP/.530 SLG/19 HRS/63 RBIs
Luis was a September call up last season that should, again, see his name on the Major League roster come September 1. He’s finally turned his gap power into home-run power this year, although the Pacific Coast League is generally known for being a hitter’s league. That being said, Jimenez has a BABIP of .300 at the AAA level this year, so his numbers are a good representation of what he’s doing at Salt Lake. He wasn’t able to show much value at the Major League level when called up earlier in the year, but should give some depth and a 3B bat on the bench that isn’t named John McDonald.
5. Michael Roth – Long Reliever/Spot Starter – 19 G /121. 2 IP/10-6 record/2.59 ERA
Roth hasn’t had any success at the major league level yet through 26.2 innings, but with Tyler Skaggs gone the Angels will need a long relief guy in their bullpen, and being a lefty has made him all the more valuable. He has been one of the best starters in the Texas League this year with AA Arkansas, mostly due to his 80.8% LOB percentage. The 24-year old carries an FIP 4.09 this year, which shows his numbers have been inflated by a solid defense around him. We won’t see Roth in any high-pressure situations, but expect to see him back in Anaheim.
6. Drew Rucinski – Long Reliever/Spot Starter – 22 G/125.2 IP/10-5 record/2.86 ERA
If you haven’t heard the feel good story of Drew Rucinski by now, the guy was pitching independent ball for most of last season and has excelled the last year and a half in the Angels’ system. His numbers are great on the surface, but even better than that of his Arkansas teammate Roth when translated to sabermetrics. His 2.93 FIP is slightly above his 2.86 ERA and is due to a 7.95 K/9 and 3.17 K/BB. The problem? He’ll be 26 in December, above the league average for a pitcher in AA. You have to hope his story continues to get better upon being recalled to the big leagues in September.
7. J.B. Shuck – Outfielder – .320 AVG/.391 OBP/.444 SLG/3 HRs/44 RBIs
Shuck is the typical Mike Scioscia player that for some reason is always on the big league roster for an extended period of time. His work ethic and grit are second-to-none and his solid AAA stats will lead to him rewarded with a September call up. Since being sent down in the beginning of the year, Shuck has responded with a wOBA of .371 and 9.5 wRAA, being one of the most consistent hitters on Salt Lake this season.
8. Tony Campana – Pinch Runner – .289 AVG/.338 OBP/.354 SLG/0 HRs/25 RBIs
We will see Tony Campana at the major league level for one reason and one reason only—base running. Brought over in the Joe Thatcher deal, the 5’8 outfielder has plenty of speed, something the Angels have not had on their bench this season, and will certainly be called up for those late inning, pinch runner moments.
Both Buck and Gott aren’t on the 40-man roster but could be considered for a September call up if the Angels front office decides to DFA someone who’s fallen out of favor with their play this year, like Dane De La Rosa or Michael Kohn.
Buck, who was released by Seattle in mid-July and signed by the Angels a few days later, has the better chance of the two to get called up. A former All-Star with plenty of Major League experience, Buck would allow the Angels to go to a three-catcher roster, which has been the favorite of Scioscia during his tenure. Buck has put up a decent slash line since arriving in Salt Lake of .344/.387/.456, showing a great eye at the plate and veteran leadership.
If we see the 21-year old Gott at the Major League level come September, it will be in a no-pressure situation that will allow him to get a taste of big league hitters. Since coming over in the Huston Street deal, Gott has thrown lights out in 11.1 innings, going 1-0 in 7 games with a 0.00 ERA. His mid-90s “heavy” fastball has led him to a K/9 of 10.32, but has had a little trouble locating his pitches at times causing his BB% to be 13.2%. Gott is the least likely on this list to get a call up this season.
Rusty Handler is a graduate of the University of Southern California where he was a college wrestler that never lost his love for the game of baseball. He kept his passion for the game, and the Angels, going by learning sabermetrics through sports analytics courses and the power of Google. He now considers himself in the running for successor to Jerry Dipoto for General Manager. You can follow him on Twitter(@rhandler33) where he tweets his thoughts on anything sports related, mostly the Angels.