It is almost that time of year, time for the Angels to dip down into the ranks of their minor league system for some reinforcements in September when rosters expand. Depending on how you feel about the current state of the Angels farm system, especially the high levels, that is either a midly exciting statement or your are still snickering at the idea that any Halo fan would be excited about this time of year.
Whatever the case, some more guys are joining the team in the next week or so. Why not get an idea for who they might be and what they might offer in advance? You don't want to be rude do you?
Hank Conger, C – If only because not calling him up would be catastrophic to his future trade value, which already took a big hit in the last calendar year. At best, he'll see some starts if the Angels fall out of it. At worst, he'll pick up a few pinch-hitting opportunities for the other catchers since he is a switch-hitter.
John Hester, C – Four catchers on the roster? Sure, why not. This is Scioscia we're talking about. Hester actually might get decent playing time since he was more or less platooning with Wilson during Iannetta's absence. Scioscia probably likes Wilson more, but Hester wasn't that far behind.
Luis Jimenez, 3B – He had something of a breakout year in Double-A last year and has been perfectly fine when promoted to Triple-A this year. There is some thought that he could actually contribute in the bigs right now and maybe even provide an offensive upgrade over Maicerto Callazturis, but there is a problem. Lucho almost never walks. In just over 450 ABs this season, he has walked just 19 times. In fact, he walks so infrequently that I am writing this on a Saturday and it won't post until Tuesday but I am not even remotely concerned that he will draw another walk and force me to edit this paragraph. Dipoto doesn't like guys who don't control the strike zone, so it is hard to imagine him being a Lucho fan. Still, there is a chance Scioscia could see something he likes and give him a spot start or two to see if he can't catch lightning in a bottle.
Andrew Romine, SS – There isn't much of a need for him, but it never hurts to have a slick glove like his on the bench. However, the only non-garbage time action he will see is likely as a pinch-runner.
Kole Calhoun, OF – With Bourjos injured, Kole probably could've had a little bit of a role but then Vernon Wells had to go and actually start not sucking. Calhoun is guaranteed to get the promotion, but other than serving as a left-handed pinch-hitter, he'll mostly just spend time fending off "ginger" jokes from his teammates.
David Carpenter, RP – The bullpen lacks a designated grounball pitcher and sadly Carpenter is still the best option they have in that role. He had his moments when called up earlier in the year, but mostly he just proved that he isn't ready for primetime. What Scioscia does seem certain David is ready for is soaking up innings during blowouts.
Steven Geltz, RP – There is no reason for the Angels not to call him up. There is only slightly more reason not to give him a shot at earning a real role in the bullpen. At worst, Geltz would seem to be a ripe replacement for Jason Isringhausen's decaying corpse. At best, Geltz is the only call-up reliever with a shot at making a real impact in the final weeks of the season.
Brad Mills, SP – Mills made a good impression during his one spot start this season, but he really doesn't have much use to the Halos otherwise. Yes, he is a lefty, but he isn't really a guy that profiles well as a being tough on left-handed batters in relief. There is a real chance that he would never be used if he was called up, but since he does have the length to be a starter, the Angels would be well served to have him on the roster in case he is needed in a pinch.
Barry Enright, SP – The Angels actually traded for Enright earlier this year, but it was more just to provide minor league depth. There is absolutely no role for him in Anaheim, so the Halos may pass on promoting him. That being said, Jerry Dipoto thought enought of him to trade for him, so maybe he thinks enough of Enright to give him a call up too.
Bobby Cassevah, RP – To think that he was actually a big part of the Angel bullpen late last season. Cassevah was an unmitigated disaster in his earlier stint with the Halos this season, and then was hot garbage when he got sent down to the minors. In the last month, Bobby has cooled down to lukewarm garbage, but it is hard to imagine the Angels wanting to reward him for such an abysmal campaign with a call-up.
Candidates NOT currently on the 40-man roster
Ryan Langerhans, OF – Langerhans was on the 40-man earlier this season but got dropped off it months ago. The Angels are overloaded with outfielders as it is, so it is hard to find a reason to carry Langerhans other than he is a veteran and left-handed. Still, the Halos have plenty of room on the 40-man roster and won't think twice about DFAing him again after the season, so there isn't much to lose.
Trevor Crowe, OF – Known to many as the man the Angels tried to trade Bobby Abreu for, Crowe still found his way into the Angel minor league system anyway. While he doesn't have a resume that even matches the meager accomplishments of Langerhans, Crowe does have very good speed. Having him on the roster as a designated pinch-runner is a smart idea since Mike Scioscia seems strangely unwilling to use Peter Bourjos in that role since he always wants to have him available as a defensive replacement instead.
Andrew Taylor, RP – If there is one guy on this list that deserves to be added to the 40-man roster and called up it is Taylor. He has never been much of a prospect, but he does have the perfect set of tools to be of some help to the club down the stretch. Namely, he is a southpaw that can miss some bats. The Angels need someone to get lefties out other than Downs and Taylor is probably the next best option, and that was true even before they dumped Takahashi on the Pirates. Taylor is far from perfect as he issues a lot of walks, but if used as a LOOGY, he can't do much more damage to the bullpen's overall effectiveness than that collection of arsonists that currently haunt the bullpen.
Ryan Brasier, RP – You might remember Brasier as a depth arm in training camp that hung around until the final round of cuts as he seemed to impress the coaching staff. He has since spent the entire season in Triple-A where he has had middling results. Brasier had stints as the closer in Salt Lake and put up solid but unspectacular numbers due to his career-long struggle with controlling the strike zone. Those numbers should be just barely good enough to justify a spot on the roster and a promotion if there really was a glimmer of something worthwhile that Scioscia or Butcher saw back in the spring and want to explore further.