Griesser’s Suggested Change of the Week
Given the focus on developing youth this season, this week’s Suggested Change is one of my favorites. It’s finally time for September Call-Ups.
The 2019 season has been a tough one to watch and I’m sure even tougher to play through as a member of the team. But, finally, reinforcements are coming.
On September 1, the Orioles will be able to expand their roster from 25 to 40 players, giving GM Mike Elias the opportunity to bring up anyone who can contribute and provide relief to the players who’ve been ailing in recent weeks (I’m mainly talking about the bullpen).
Considering the lack of position player talent at the top-two levels under the bigs, I think this September’s moves will mostly be dedicated to preserving pitchers in the bullpen and perhaps expanding the rotation of openers to help finish out the year.
The thought process behind that focus should be pretty straightforward: the Orioles have struggled mightily in the bullpen and in the starting rotation, so finishing out the year will be best accomplished by bringing in as many arms as possible to reinforce those respective units.
Getting right into it by predicting the arms that are brought up, I expect there to be 11 pitchers who have their name called: Keegan Akin, Ty Blach, Cody Carroll, Tom Eshelman, David Hess, Brandon Kline, Luis Ortiz, Tanner Scott, Tayler Scott, Chandler Shephard and Bruce Zimmermann.
Two of these players are not currently on the 40-man roster, requiring that Elias let go of two other players. For that, I’ve pegged Richard Bleier and Mark Trumbo as veterans who have to pack their bags.
Honestly, while those cuts might be tough, I think they make sense. As veterans who’ve struggled in their recent time, dealt with injuries, and no longer have a clear role on the team, September seems like the perfect time to cut ties. For Trumbo this was always an easy decision for me, but after Bleier’s dugout outburst, the decision became clear on him, as well.
Hays and Mullins both deserve an opportunity to show what they have again, and though they won’t play much, each should be given the occasional shift in centerfield.
As for Smith Jr. and Wynns, the two veterans offer further stability and good locker room presences for young players to lean on. With the additional spots available for call-ups, it simply makes sense to have them around.
Without a doubt, this week’s Suggested Change isn’t anything crazy, but it should signal an exciting time for Baltimore as more and more players are given a shot to build a reputation going into next year.
And, at the least, it’ll help us find our way to the season’s close.