September 1 call-ups
(This entry will be continually updated if and when more minor-leaguers arrive.)
IF Augie Ojeda
OF Dave Kelton
P Sergio Mitre
P Felix Sanchez
P Todd Wellemeyer
1B Hee Seop Choi
Purchased the contract of:
C-OF Josh Paul
Brian: I hate, hate, hate the Official Site. In order to make room for Paul on the 40-man, someone needed to be cut. Of course, we may never know who it turned out to be. Right now, they have 42 players listed on the 40-man roster. But there is an article on how weird it is for Paul to go from the White Sox to the Cubs! That’s useful and/or interesting! Funny, but I don’t remember anyone giving a rat’s ass about what Matt Karchner thought about it (and Paul isn’t even as useful as Karchner).
Choi returns after presumably “regaining his stroke.” He put up a .258/.351/.621 line in 66 AB for the I-Cubs. He ended the season with a flourish, hitting two homers and a triple last night in their final game. He still won’t get much playing time though, even though Karros has been slumping since Choi was sent down and Randall Simon, even though he’s been decent with the Cubs, is still Randall Simon.
Wellemeyer … well, nothing’s really changed for Wellemeyer. I assume he becomes the number one long relief guy, since the Cubs don’t really have that. He’s struggled in that role, however, and I’d just as soon see him shut down until next year. I’m sure it’s been a tough year for him.
Ojeda’s role should be limited strictly to defensive replacement and perhaps pinch-runner. I think he’s actually very useful in this kind of role once rosters expand.
Kelton may get some pinch-hitting opportunities. He didn’t really hit very well at all in the second half of the season, with only three homers after the All-Star break.
Mitre will be lucky to pitch more than once or twice. Relievers on this team don’t generally get a lot of work on non-Estes days (and hopefully every day will be a non-Estes day), and he’s certainly not going to get any starts.
Felix Sanchez is a new face. A 22-year-old lefty, he’s spent the year relieving for AA West Tenn, pitching 64 innings with a 3.23 ERA, 31 BB and 55 K. His time will probably be limited also, although the way the bullpen has pitched lately, who knows.
Paul … what can I say about Josh Paul? I guess he serves as the third catcher, but that doesn’t let him off the hook for being a pathetic offensive player, hitting only .253/.297/.322 in three months for Iowa. Since the Cubs needed to add him to the 40-man roster anyway, they might as well have called up Keith McDonald, who has hit .239/.330/.443 this year. Even if his defense sucks (and I don’t know if it does or not), who cares? He’s only the third catcher! What’s even worse is that Paul spent a lot of time in the outfield for Iowa too, and I shudder to think of his “versatility” earning him extra playing time like it did for the I-Cubs.
Christian: I honestly don’t see Paul getting any playing time. Really, the only guy who’s going to get any significant PT out of this bunch is Wellemeyer, I’d guess. Dusty already has three spare outfielders, so Kelton’s way down the depth chart. So is Augie in the infield, and we know how Dusty feels about Big Choi.
Basically, I figure it’s just a way for Dusty to make more LaRussa-esque lineup moves, like he did on Tuesday. Start Karros, pinch-hit Lofton for him, put Simon in, pinch run Kelton for him, and put Choi in, and you’ve used five guys in one lineup spot. LaRussa should be proud of Dusty.