The Red Sox are easily the most dominant team in baseball and look nearly guaranteed to win the AL East while also claiming home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They will likely use the end of September to rest some players and give some newer names on the roster and September call ups a chance to play.
When the calendar hits September, major league ball clubs have the option to expand from their 25 man active roster and use any player on their 40 man roster. Most teams don’t utilize all 40 spots, but all teams add at least a couple of players to the mix. Many of these players who are called up for playoff teams won’t make the 25 man playoff roster, but it’s definitely a good chance to prove oneself.
The Sox aren’t as stacked with minor league talent as some of their rivals, but there are a few good options of players to come up in September. Who might be a Sep 1 addition for this Boston team?
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2B Brandon Phillips: Second baseman Brandon Phillips has been around the majors since 2002 and has three gold gloves and three all-star selections to his name. He is an above average defensive player who can hit for average. Phillips ended up hitting a combined .285 with 13 homers and 65 RBI last year while splitting times between the Angels and Braves. The Sox signed him to a minor league contract in late June and he has been playing pretty well with Pawtucket, hitting .306 in 29 games this year. Phillips is an interesting option as the Red Sox still don’t have second base figured out. The move to acquire Ian Kinsler seemed to be the Sox attempting to fill the hole, but Kinsler has struggled with injuries since being acquired near the trade deadline. Phillips should have a chance to prove himself and could even end up playing second base in the postseason if Pedroia and Kinsler remain injured and he steps up in September.
OF Rusney Castillo: Cuban born Castillo had big promise when the Sox signed him to a massive $72.5 Million dollar contract in 2014. He hasn’t quite been the star he was expected to be, and has mostly served his time in the minors over the last few years. Castillo has had quite the year so far with the Paw Sox, hitting .327 with 5 homers and 57 RBI’s in 111 games. He unfortunately has a logjam ahead of him in the outfield for the Sox, so likely won’t get a real opportunity. Castillo does have above average speed and can be used as a pinch runner in important moments when needed. Castillo also is confident he can succeed in the Major Leagues. He chooses to live in Boston and commute to Pawtucket because he believes that he truly belongs with the big league club.
Various Relief Pitchers: Most teams use September to try out a few bullpen pieces, and the Sox may label this as the one major area where they have issues. The bullpen has been a weaker point for the Sox and there are a couple of options waiting in the minors to have their chance. Rookie Bobby Poyner has been up a couple of times this season and was pretty impressive in 10 games for the Sox. In his 10.2 innings pitched, Poyner has a 1.69 ERA with 10 strikeouts and only 1 walk. Robby Scott has been impressive in 2018, and is currently 3-3 with a 1.97 ERA in the bullpen for Pawtucket. Scott has major league experience, having pitched in 57 games for Boston in 2017, but underwent left elbow surgery earlier this year and has only pitched 2.1 very poor innings with the Sox this year.
It will be interesting to see who gets the call up September 1st, but look for the names listed above to have the biggest chance to make an impact and even potentially sneak their way onto the playoff roster.