September 1st, 2012. The rosters expand all across major league baseball from 25 active players to 40 active players. This can be a fun time, especially if your team basically has the division locked up, because you see a lot of young guys get their first taste of the show and see injured guys auditioning for next season. Only players on the 40 man roster, seen HERE, are eligible to be called up to the big leagues. No player can be added to the 40 man roster and be playoff roster eligible if added after August 31st. Here is who I expect to see up with the big league club this September.
Pedro Feliciano seems to be recovered, finally, from his shoulder surgery he got before he ever threw a pitch for the Yankees. I do not expect much out of him, especially with two lefties in Logan and Rapada already on the team, but ANYTHING we can get out of him will be nice. He is definitely auditioning for his next contract next season.
David Aardsma is back from tommy john surgery and now back from his latest setback that interrupted his last rehab assignment. The only way he would make the playoff roster would be if he beat out Eppley, which I do not see, or the Yankees decided not to carry both Phelps and Freddy Garcia. It is unlikely but this guy used to be a closer and is used to the big spots so I would like to watch him especially closely this September to see if he can help us towards #28. Reports say that he will not be back this season but he insists that he will so I am going to be optimistic here.
Ryota Igarashi is not going to come up after being outrighted to AAA Empire State Yankees. This is a real head scratcher in my opinion but if it means more innings for guys like Adam Warren then I am all for it.
Cory Wade has already had an option used this season and it does not hurt to bring him up and let him regain some confidence. Expect to see him try to rebuild some faith from Brian Cashman before he becomes a free agent.
Adam Warren may come up and get his feet a little wetter this September out of the bullpen. I do not expect him to start unless we have a double header or we are trying to set up our playoff rotation by giving a guy a day off or two. Option has been used and I do not expect the AAA Empire State Yankees to go very far in the AAA playoffs. After going into the 8th with a no hitter in the minors I think we need to strike on him while the iron is hot.
*Note* We will not see Justin Thomas, Brad Meyers, Cesar Cabral, Mariano Rivera, or Michael Pineda come up or see any action due to everyone but Thomas being on the 60 day DL and done for the season.
Francisco Cervelli has not seen the big league club since Spring Training and will most definitely see them again in September. He can give guys like Chris Stewart and Russell Martin a break and rest those legs for the playoffs.
Austin Romine MAY come up just to get some work in and such after missing much of the season with a lingering back injury. Four catchers is a bit of overkill but what are you going to do. The good thing is reports say he is completely healthy.
Brandon Laird/Ramiro Pena/Eduardo Nunez all fit the same mold and category. All have very minor experience in the majors but will probably come up and get another cup of coffee. They will be nothing more then late inning replacements or guys used as fillers to give our veterans some needed rest and days off before the playoffs.
Zoilo Almonte would be a very interesting site in Yankees Stadium although I think it may be a bit premature. He seems like the closest outfield prospect that we have to the majors that seems like he will be a legitimate major league player. Many expected him to be ready to fill in for Nick Swisher next year but has not seen AAA Empire State yet so it is unlikely.
Melky Mesa might actually get a call to get his feet wet in the majors, whether he see's time or not is another thing, after getting a call up to AAA. He still has raw power and all the tools to be a major leaguer but is still pretty far away in my opinion.
*Note* We will not see Corban Joseph, David Adams, or Brett Gardner as they are all too far away or injured in Gardner's case. Although David Adams and Corban Joseph are hitting a lot better lately so you never know.