Were only two days away from the month of September, and that means its time for Major League teams to expand their rosters. Contenders are looking to add pieces that can push them over the top, and teams that are out of it are auditioning young guys that could make an impact next season. Unfortunately, the Dbacks are part of the latter. Despite an injury filled 2014 season, the Snakes are expecting to contend next season, and they certainly have plenty of guys that have gotten tons of major league experience this season, and could make a big impact next season. I previewed the starting pitching candidates that could be called up here.
With the addition of Nolan Reimold, the Diamondbacks 40 man roster currently sits at 40, and the active roster currently sits at 26 until the Snakes make a corresponding move. Injured players that are expected to return to the team next month, and make a big impact include Chris Owings, and A.J Pollock. Paul Goldschmidt didn’t need surgery on his left hand, but we wont be seeing him till next year.
As I discussed in the starting rotation column, the playoff picture for the minor-league teams has alot to do with who will get called up and when. After beating the Sacramento RiverCats 9-4 last night, the Aces pulled even in the Pacific Northern Division. Daniel Hudson starts tonight in game 2 with only four games left to go. Meanwhile, the Mobile Bay Bears are 79-53 on the season. They won the first half by 3.0 games, and the Mississippi Braves are leading the division in the second half. The way it works is that the first half winner plays the second half winner. So most likely the Bay Bears and the Braves would play in a best of five series that would begin on September 4th.
Now it is time to take a look at position players that could get the call come September 1st. Here are the candidates:
1. Nick Ahmed
Ahmed made his major league debut on June 29th when Chris Owings went on the 15 day D.L. In 61 plate appearances with the Dbacks this season he hit .228 with 1 HR and 4 RBI’s. He had 13 hits while striking out 7 times, and walking twice. In 434 plate appearances with the Aces this season, he is batting .316 with 4 HR and 46 RBI’s. Ahmed does have major league experience, and he has the talent to play at the big league level. I saw him in spring training. He has ridiculous power to all fields. He is a pure shortstop, and it might be hard for Kirk Gibson to find playing time for Nick.
In 41 plate appearances this season with the Dbacks, he batted .195. Basically he proved that he wasn’t ready for the show, and he was sent back to the minors. In 386 plate appearances with the Reno Aces, he has hit .265 with 14 HR and 47 RBI’s. A .462 slugging percentage isn’t very encouraging. If he is called up, he probably wont get a lot of playing time.
Jackson was acquired from the Cubs on August 14th. In 19 plate apperances with Reno this season, he is batting .188. The Dbacks believe he can contribute next season, so why not give a look next month. He was once regarded as a top 100 prospect, but he has struck out far to much over his career, and he hasn’t lived up to the hype.
The Dbacks plan to call up more starters than position players, but I think both Jackson and Ahmed are the most likely position players to be with the Snakes come September 1st.