Pittsburgh Pirates: September call-up edition

Pirates' catcher Tony Sanchez

Pirates’ catcher Tony Sanchez

The Pittsburgh Pirates head to September in the thick of the National League Central race and the NL wild card race. After a seven game losing streak, Pittsburgh took two-of-three from the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds.

With rosters set to expand on Monday, the question is who will the Pirates call up to join the big league team? Anyone on the 40-man roster can be called-up. Not everyone will be.

General Manager Neal Huntington has basically said that there will be no waivers move.

“We’re going to be very cognizant of the numbers that we add to this club,” Pittsburgh Pirates’ General Manager Neal Huntington said. “We’ve got some guys that are obvious additions, like [Gerrit] Cole and [Jeff] Locke, and [Gregory] Polanco is coming back, and we get Stolmy Pimentel off the disabled list. So you’re already at 29 before you start to talk about guys that have spent the majority or their recent time at Triple A.”

Cole, Locke and Polanco were all sent down last week to make room for players like Jose Tabata, Andrew Lambo and Brent Morel due to injuries. All of them will be eligible for the post-season roster this year, despite being in the minors on August 31st, due to a rule change that made everyone on the 40-man roster eligible for the post-season.

Morel, Lambo and Tabata will all likely remain with the Pirates. Cole, Locke, Pimentel and Polanco will all join the Pirates on Monday. Charlie Morton’s health is still in question, but if the right-hander is able to go, he will be back in Pittsburgh.

Tony Sanchez was in the dugout after the Pirates loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. The 26-year-old catcher would be an offensive upgrade over Chris Stewart. He also provides a bat off the bench late in games. In 21 games with the Pirates this season, Sanchez was batting .314 with 4 home runs and 17 RBIs.

The Pirates’ bullpen has been better of late, but expects Casey Sadler, Ernesto Frieri and Vin Mazzaro to join the Shark Tank. Mazzaro was part of the Pirates’ success last season and has been good in Triple-A this year.

Frieri continues to struggle in Indianapolis, but the Pirates are paying the rest of his $3.8 million salary. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if Pittsburgh doesn’t bring him up.

Nick Kingham and Chase Chase d’Arnaud would both be surprises if they show up on Pittsburgh’s roster. d’Arnaud is fast and good at stealing bases. He also had success in his career against lefties, but for some reason Huntington doesn’t seem to be a fan of his.

“There will be some surprises that will make some people scratch their head,” Huntington said.