Believe it or not, September call ups are just around the corner. Once September 1 rolls around and rosters expand, players who are normally stuck in the minors will have a chance to get into a major league game. After seeing Matt Thornton get shipped off to DC, it's clear that the Yankees plan to focus on the bullpen, especially the lefty specialist portion of it, so expect a few pitchers to get the call soon.
While these players will be from the 40-man roster, not all of them are there just yet. The Yankees currently have plenty of fodder from which they can create open roster spots for some exciting young players to make their debuts. Chris Capuano, Esmil Rogers, Matt Daley, and Rich Hill could all be sent packing in order to create a spot for someone who has more potential, namely these six pitchers:
|Tyler Webb||2013||24||LHP||AAA||Not on 40
It's time for Tyler Webb to be in the majors. Drafted last year, he's made it all the way up to Triple-A already and has struck out 13 batters in only 8.2 innings there. He also K'd 51 over 35.2 innings in Double-A. He's ready for the big leagues right now and I'm hoping to see him in the majors even before September.
|Jacob Lindgren||2014||21||LHP||AA||Not on 40|
Lindgren was literally just drafted in June and he's already on the cusp of a major league call up. Of course, it was believed he could get major league hitters out even before his selection, so this should come as no surprise. The Strikeout Factory has already reached Double-A by striking out 30 batters in only 13.1 innings and has yet to struggle at any of the levels he's seen so far. If he can continue to plow through the upper levels of the minors, expect to see Lindgren as the new LOOGY on, or around, September 1.
|Nick Rumbelow||2013||23||RHP||AAA||Not on 40
Drafted just last year, Rumbelow has proven to be a solid reliever in the small amount of time he has spent in the Yankees system. After striking out 15 batters in only 7.1 innings at Double-A, Rumbelow was recently moved up to Triple-A and his 2.7 walk rate on the year says that he's ready to take the plunge. He still has a few weeks before September 1, so if everything runs smoothly for him until then, expect him in the Bronx very soon.
|James Pazos||2012||23||LHP||AA||Not on 40|
I would not have picked Pazos to be on a list of potential call ups, but Joe Girardi specifically mentioned him when referring to the Yankees' abundance of impressive lefty relievers in the minors. Pazos has kept a 1.33 ERA with a 9.3 K/9 in Double-A, however a 4.0 BB/9 might ultimately leave him out in favor of one of their better pitchers.
|Manny Banuelos||2007||23||LHP||AA||On 40|
After struggling mightily in his return from Tommy John surgery, ManBan has improved, surrendering only one run in his last 14 innings. He's still just in Double-A, but Brian Cashman has at least not ruled him out on a call up. It's more likely they'll let him loose next year, but I suppose there is a non-zero chance we see him in the Bronx as an extra lefty reliever, depending on what happens to all their other lefty relievers, of course.
|Bryan Mitchell||2009||23||RHP||AAA||On 40|
Mitchell has pitched poorly for most of the season, however things seem to be working now, according to his 1.06 ERA over his last 17 innings in Triple-A. He's already making himself a candidate to fill in for David Phelps, but if he's not called up to take a rotation spot, the Yankees can probably find another use for him by September. They didn't trade him for Dustin Ackley because they'll need him at some point.
Less exciting options include Nik Turley, Pat Venditte, and Matt Tracy, while Jose Ramirez and Preston Claiborne have been out with injuries. It also doesn't look like Andrew Bailey will be making it back this year as he has yet to throw a pitch for a Yankees minor league affiliate.