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September Call Up Preview

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 (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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September is upon us, which means that the Dodgers will have a few extra players in their locker room for the next month or so. Stemming off of Phil's article from last night, let’s take a look at the players who will be, or might be, brought up to the big league club.

For Sure Call Ups:

AJ Ellis – Catcher: Ellis will rejoin the club on Friday after already spending most of the season with the Dodgers. The only reason he isn’t being promoted earlier is because he was sent down to AAA less than 10 days ago. He will provide the team with that valuable 3rd catcher which will give Torre more options off the bench.

Jon Link – RHP: Link has already been called up the Dodgers 5 times this season, and will definitely rejoin the club in early September. He has been putting up some solid numbers over the past month in AAA (well, except for last night), and will give the Dodgers an extra arm in the bullpen. He could even be auditioning for a role with the team next year.

The Injured Guys:

Xavier Paul – OF: Paul has nothing left to prove in the PCL and would have obviously gotten a call up, but was recently shut down for the rest of the season with a neck injury. Though he doesn’t have pain in his neck right now, it’s the kind of injury that he needs to be careful with, so taking it easy for the remainder of the season is the right thing to do. Out of options heading into next year, it will be interesting to see if the Dodgers are willing to give him a chance in 2011 to stay with the big league club all year.

Travis Schlichting – RHP: Schlichting is technically on the major league DL so he wouldn’t really be a call up, but he’s still a rookie so it’s the same idea. He is currently dealing with a shoulder issue so it is still unknown if the Dodgers will shut him down for the season or try to bring him back for the final month. He has proven to be an effective reliever at the big league level, even though his 2010 minor league numbers haven’t been great.

Chin Lung-Hu – SS/2B: Hu hadn't played since the end of June until last night when he took over at shortstop after the rehabbing Furcal left the game. I know he broke his nose and had to have surgery, but I’m not exactly sure if that is the reason he was out for so long. It seems like the nose injury would have healed faster than 2 months, so maybe something else is up. Even if he he is healthy, however, he might not be ready to play in the big leagues since he hasn’t seen game action for over 2 months.

The Likely Call Ups:

Ivan De Jesus – SS/2B: As I just mentioned, the Dodgers really need some middle infield players, and De Jesus is really the only healthy guy on the 40 man roster that can provide this depth. In addition, Torre specifically mentioned that a middle infielder will be brought up soon. If he does get the call, De Jesus will be making his major league debut and might even be auditioning for a job with the club in 2011. He’s having a big season in AAA, but I’m very skeptical of his stats because he plays half of his games in Albuquerque. A quick glance at his split stats shows that he hitting .336 at home with 5 HR’s compared to .260 on the road with 2 HR’s. I really don’t think he has what it takes to be an above average or even average big league regular, but hopefully he’ll prove me wrong.

Trayvon Robinson – OF: Robinson had has a very good season in AA, but it is unknown whether or not the Dodgers will jump him from the Lookouts to the Dodgers. However, you would assume that the Dodgers will call up at least one outfielder to give them additional depth, and with Xavier Paul’s injury, Tray is next on the depth chart since he is already on the 40 man roster. If they do call him up, the Dodgers will probably wait until the AA season is over.

John Ely – RHP: Ely might not get called up right away, but despite Torre’s comments about not brining up a starter, he will almost certainly rejoin the club at some point in September to give the team another pitcher who could throw multiple innings or even make a spot start. In addition, since three members in the Dodgers current rotation are free agents after the season, I’m sure the Dodgers are going to want to see Ely again to determine if he should be a serious contender for the rotation in 2011. While he’s definitely had a tough time in the hitter friendly PCL over the past 2 months, hopefully he was simply a victim of his environment.

Other 40 Man Roster Possible Call Ups:

Brent Leach – LHP: Leach was converted to a starting pitcher recently and thrived in the rotation in AA, but was promoted back to AAA last week and has worked out of the pen in his last few appearances. As a lefty he could provide the Dodgers with another southpaw out of the bullpen, but I’m not sure if he is in the Dodgers’ plans.

Javy Guerra – RHP: Guerra was actually injured for most of the season, and with a healthy major league bullpen I doubt the Dodgers will find room for this right-hander. He’s a hard thrower who has put up good stats in AA, but unless the Dodgers want to see an audition for 2011 he probably won’t call him up.

Scott Elbert – LHP: Given that he hasn’t thrown a competitive pitch since June 3rd, he’s obviously not going to get called up.

Other Possible Call Ups Not on the 40 Man Roster:

John Lindsay – 1B: Ramona Shelburne’s article says it all: I say give the guy a chance.

Russell Mitchell – 3B: Mitchell can actually play quite a few positions and has had an outstanding season in AAA. Like De Jesus, however, he has benefited from playing in Albuquerque as 16 of his 23 homers have come at home, and his average is .361 at home compared to .280 on the road. Even still, the Dodgers lack 3rd base depth so the Dodgers may want to see what Mitchell can do. He has been with the organization since 2003 and has improved every year, yet is still just 25 years old, so they may want to give him a shot. With at least one open spot on the 40 man roster, he may be the guy to get the call.

Justin Sellers – SS: Sellers would only get the call if the Dodgers really needed additional depth at shortstop, although Tony Jackson seems to think otherwise. Even though he is yet another AAA guy with extreme home/road split stats, he has still had a breakout and surprising season with the Isotopes. He is also pretty solid with the glove.

Juan Castro – SS: Castro cleared waivers, but apparently took a leave of absence for personal reasons. I hope he stays away because his presence would only take away the opportunity of another player who might actually have a future with the team.

Cory Wade – RHP: Could probably be another option but only if some injuries hit the bullpen.

Jamie Hoffmann – OF: Don’t the Dodgers still owe him and his agent a favor or something in regards to adding him to the 40 man roster or calling him up? In all seriousness, this is similar to the situation with Wade in that he’d only get the call if injuries depleted the Dodgers outfield depth.

Charlie Haeger – RHP: This is a long shot, but the Dodgers may just want to take one more look at the knuckleball before the 2010 season ends.

Other Young Prospects (Jerry Sands, Rubby De La Rosa, etc). – Don’t expect any of the young prospects to get called up to the show this September as that is not something the Dodgers are going to do. One of the reasons is because the majority of these guys don’t even need to be added to the 40 man roster until after the 2011 season, so promoting them now will force the Dodgers to use options on them a year earlier than necessary. The only prospect with a remote possibility of being called up would be young relief pitcher Justin Miller, who is one of the few prospects who will need to be added to the 40 man roster after this season in order to protect him from the December 2010 Rule 5 draft. He is a ground ball pitcher who is having a solid season as a reliever, and could help the Dodgers out of the bullpen as soon as next season.