Is it September already? Yes, it would appear so. Where exactly has the season gone?
One by-product of September in MLB is roster expansion, as the 25-man roster expands, and any player on the official 40-man roster is eligible to play for the big club. These September call-ups can provide some nice fodder for discussion, as it can be interesting to speculate on what prospects may get a look in the final month of the season.
Obviously, different teams have different agendas come September, depending on where they may find themselves in the standings. This roster expansion can provide a contender with much needed bullpen reinforcements, as well as valuable utility infielders, bench players and players returning from injury. Of course, a team is not required to reach the full forty, and can use only a few additional players if they wish.
For teams that are well out of contention, it is interesting to get a look at fringe guys who may or may not be part of the future. You may not necessarily see a top prospect called up in September, but you will see a player who can potentially contribute long term.
This proverbial cup of coffee can produce a variety of results for a player. For some, a solid month at the MLB level can elicit an invite to spring training the following year, which could then become a spot on the 25-man roster.
Others may not fare as well. For some former prospects that have already had opportunities in the past, this could be their last chance. Another poor performance could result in an outright release.
Whatever the situation, there are many unique stories to be found if one is paying attention and follows such things. The September call-ups represent potential opportunity for a minor league player at the end of their season, and provide roster flexibility and depth for the big club.
Perhaps the casual fan may not be completely aware of these happenings, but true baseball zealots are in the know. Many variables conspire to lure fans away from baseball this time of year, particularly the beginning of football season.
However, if you are looking to sustain interest in your team as the regular season grind nears its end, then take a moment to peruse the transactions list and choose a player to follow down the stretch.
As if we needed another reason to watch baseball.