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SoxProspects News

August 29, 2009 at 10:56 AM

September Reinforcements

With roster expansion just three days away, look for Boston to add several players to the active major league roster in the coming days. Some players will be activated off the disabled list, others will be pulled right out of Pawtucket - either on September 1, or shortly after the final PawSox game on September 7.

Disabled List
Boston has three players on the disabled list that could make contributions to the big league club in the last month of the season. George Kottaras’ rehab stint in Triple-A ended Friday, and he is expected to be activated on September 1. Daisuke Matsuzaka will make a rehab start in Double-A on Sunday, and he's tentatively slated to return to Boston’s rotation on September 9 or 10. When he's ready to return, Matsuzaka will need to be activated from the 60-day DL, meaning he’ll take one of Boston’s two open 40-man spots. Jed Lowrie is presently rehabbing in Pawtucket, and may or may not return to major league action this year. If he does, it likely wouldn’t be until mid-September at the earliest.

September 1
Four or five players seem like locks to join Boston’s active roster after rosters expand on September 1. Michael Bowden is eligible to be called up again on September 1 after he was optioned to Pawtucket on August 22. He last pitched for the PawSox on Wednesday. He may get one more start for Pawtucket on Monday or Tuesday, but it’s a safe bet he will be back with the big club on September 1 or shortly thereafter. Boston will also likely want to add Jeff Bailey’s bat to the bench as soon as possible. Similarly, Brian Anderson will add outfield depth and a righty bat off the bench. Paul Byrd is slated to make one more Triple-A start on Saturday, and should be activated soon thereafter, taking Boston’s other open 40-man spot. Last, we expect that Josh Reddick will be called up before September 4 to avoid burning an option year for 2009.

September 8
Pawtucket’s season ends following an afternoon game in Syracuse on September 7 (Boston plays in Chicago that afternoon). The PawSox are not in the International League playoff hunt, so look for a few more players already on the 40-man roster to join the big club following the conclusion of the PawSox’ season. That list of candidates includes Hunter Jones, Marcus McBeth, Aaron Bates, Dusty Brown, and Mark Wagner. One of Jones or McBeth could get the call to provide some reserves in the Boston bullpen. For the catchers, if past history is any indication, expect that only one of either Brown or Wagner will get the call, and defense will be the determinative factor. Bates could be blocked by the glut of first base options presently available in Boston. Outside possibilities not currently on the 40-man roster include Fernando Cabrera, Javier Lopez, Dustin Richardson, Enrique Gonzalez, Billy Traber, Travis Denker, Chris Woodward, Gil Velazquez, and Angel Chavez. The Sox may have a brief window between September 1 and whenever Matsuzaka is activated to temporarily add one of these players to the 40-man, and Cabrera seems to be a logical candidate. If Lowrie is not able to play for Boston again this year, he could also be moved to the 60-day DL, opening another spot on the 40-man roster.

Two players from the 40-man roster that we do not expect to get the call are Felix Doubront and Chris Carter. Doubront, 21, is presently pitching for Portland, and likely wouldn’t have any role with the big club this season. Carter has reportedly been sent to the Mets as part of the Billy Wagner deal, but the transaction hit a snag after the Yankees used the waiver process to block the deal from being finalized until the end of the season. The Sox and Mets are apparently looking for creative ways to send Carter to New York for September 1, which would clear another space on Boston’s roster and allow Carter to get some big league service time for the injury-depleted Mets this season.