September Call-Ups: Potential Breakout Stars

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 31: Paul Blackburn
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 31: Paul Blackburn /

The 2017 season has been one full of ups and downs for the Oakland A’s. Fan favorites Sonny Gray, Sean Doolittle, and Stephen Vogt were all sent packing in an effort to bring on a youth movement before the A’s move to a new stadium.

Unexpected All-Star Yonder Alonso had a great first half until he entered a platoon with the struggling Ryon Healy and subsequently traded to Seattle. Oakland has had their share of surprises as well this year, with the stellar defender Matt Chapman being the most notable of the bunch.

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As August comes to a close, the active rosters of all thirty teams jump from 25 to 40. September call-ups allow a team to scout their up and coming prospects at the major league level before spring training. Given the A’s current position, they have nothing to lose by playing these prospects to gauge their readiness for major league competition.

Paul Blackburn

Blackburn has already made a case for a starting job in Oakland next year, going 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 10 games. Although he currently resides on the DL, Blackburn could provide immediate relief to a starting rotation that has struggled throughout the course of the year. He could easily take over a rotation spot occupied by someone like Chris Smith for the remainder of the season

Jesse Hahn

Hahn has already shown that he can make it in a Major League rotation. His inconsistencies and the desire to make the team younger has stifled many chances Hahn could have had to be called up to the majors before September 1st. His last big league outing against Houston, where he gave up 10 runs, left a sour taste that has further hurt his case. He is currently 3-6 with a 5.30 ERA.

Joey Wendle

Wendle is in a tough spot. The Athletics already have Jed Lowrie, Chad Pinder, and Marcus Semien manning the middle infield. Franklin Barretto, the Athletics #1 prospect, is also on the 40-man roster. So is recent addition Jorge Mateo, acquired in the Sonny Gray trade. This log jam may prevent Wendle from flashing in the majors but could show the promising tools that Bob Melvin and the rest of the coaching staff are looking for in a starting second baseman.

Jake Smolinski

Smolinski is another name that has spent significant time in the major leagues but has spent the entire season on the disabled list. As he approaches his first rehab start, Smolinski can edge his way back onto the active roster, especially since Rajai Davis was shipped off to Boston. The already thin outfield could use a boost from someone like Jake Smolinski

There are plenty of other names A’s fans should keep an eye out for once the Nashville Sounds season ends on September 4th. if a few of these names stand out, the future of the organization looks bright.

Next: Will A's See Bassitt Next Month?