Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September Call-Ups: Who's In, Who's Out

The Braves announced their September call-up list earlier today, highlighted by Triple A International League Rookie of the Year Freddie Freeman. Freeman’s only gotten hotter as his season at Gwinnett has progressed, so the promotion is certainly warranted. The rest of the list includes relievers Mike Dunn and Scott Proctor and catcher JC Boscan. Proctor and Dunn give them experienced arms in the ‘pen while Boscan is a 14-year minor-leaguer who will serve as the third-string catcher behind McCann and Ross. The Braves brought Nate McLouth back up to Atlanta for tonight’s game and Troy Glaus will officially return on Thursday.

Let’s take a quick look at how Freeman, Dunn, Proctor and Boscan have performed this year:

Freeman (1B) - .319/.378/.521, 35 2B, 18 HR, 87 RBI (AAA)
Proctor (RHP) - 5-3, 41.2 IP, 6.91 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 2.00 K/BB (A+, AAA)
Dunn (LHP) - 0-0, 8.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 0.81 K/BB (MLB), 2-0, 47.1 IP, 1.52 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 2.56 K/BB (AAA)
Boscan (C) - .250/.324/.368, 5 HR, 21 RBI

Like the All-Star game and NCAA March Madness, there will always be some players who are more than deserving but don’t get the call up. The two that stand out here are Stephen Marek and Barbaro Canizares. Marek has been a lights-out RHP out of the bullpen at Gwinnett while Canizares just continues to hit as a 1B/DH. Barbaro’s in line to win the IL (AAA) batting title and was just named an IL Postseason All-Star.

A look at Canizares and Marek’s numbers this season:

Marek (RHP) - 6-2, 60.2 IP, 1.19 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 3.55 K/BB (AA, AAA)
Canizares (1B/DH) - .339/.403/.499, 25 2B, 12 HR, 73 RBI (AAA)

The lack of a Canizares call-up can make sense when you realize the Braves now have 5 players (Lee, Hinske, Freeman, Glaus and Prado) who can play 1B. But he’s been too good at the AAA level for too long for him to just waste away in the minors. If the Braves aren’t going to give Barbaro the chance in Atlanta, why not get something out of him with a trade to an AL team who can use him in a productive 1B/DH role? Marek’s exclusion is a little bit more puzzling, especially when you compare his performance this year to Proctor’s. What more can he do?

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