As rosters are set to expand on September 1st, which potential Pittsburgh Pirates September call-ups would carry the most impact?
With rosters expanding in September, contending teams get a chance to rest their regulars and gear up for a playoff run. For teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are clearly out of contention, this time of the year is for development.
Young players get a taste of competitive major league baseball and a chance to improve their stock. Front offices get a nice look at what they’re working with in the future.
What Pittsburgh Pirates on the 40-man have the most to prove in September?
Glasnow is the obvious choice. He made the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation out of Spring Training and struggled from the start. He was demoted to AAA and has dominated the International League. In 14 AAA starts, Glasnow has compiled 131 strikeouts, tied for fifth in the International League. His 14 starts are the least of any starter in the top ten. The next highest amount of starts are 20.
We know that Glasnow is nasty in AAA. Stuff has never been an issue. Command has been the issue. Confidence has been the issue. Holding runners on has been the issue. Glasnow will get his second chance in 2017. September will be a nice opportunity for the tall righty. He will have the chance to test out the adjustments he hopefully made in AAA pitching in a low pressure situation. If he finds success, it will be a great confidence boost going into 2018. If he continues to struggle, it won’t be end of the world. He will have to offseason to get better. With the starting rotation looking a bit worn out, Glasnow should get some starts in the final month.
Many young position players such as Adam Frazier, Jose Osuna, Max Moroff, Jordan Luplow, Elias Dias, and Gift Ngoepe have at least had some playing time with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017. Bostick has yet to really get that chance. Primarily an outfielder, Bostick has also spent time playing second and third base. Overall with the bat, the 24-year old has been pretty solid with the Indianapolis Indians. He’s hitting .291./.357/.416 with seven home runs, 33 doubles, and three triples. The power is not terribly exciting, but in today’s MLB, anyone should be able to smack at least 15 home runs.
Bostick projects to be a bench player in the major leagues. Getting him some reps with the Pirates now will put him on the right track to potentially help the club next season. As the Pirates showed this season, outfield depth is important.
Before getting blown up for eight earned runs in 3.2 innings his last start, Kingham was on fire. In his previous six starts, he had only given up six earned runs in 45.1 innings pitched. On the season, Kingham is 8-6 with a 3.99 ERA in 108.1 innings pitched. He has 87 strikeouts and 28 walks. Overall, he has had a nice bounce back season after overcoming Tommy John surgery. Of his 18 starts in AAA, Kingham has given more than three runs just three times. Two eight run outings have really inflated his ERA.
Kingham has no minor league options next year. This season was his last option year on the 40-man roster. That means that Kingham will need to make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training in 2018 or else he will be DFA’d. If that is the case, the risk of losing him on waivers would be high. If he is fully healthy right now, he needs to be a September call-up. At the very least, getting some major league experience would help.
Sort of like Jameson Taillon, Kingham has had a long ride through the minor leagues. He was drafted out of high school in 2010. Seven years later, he may finally see that light at the end of the tunnel.
Image Credit – Daniel Decker Photography