As expected the Phillies’ September call ups are underwhelming, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. The three players getting the call today are relief pitchers Dalier Hinojosa (R) and Colton Murray (R), along with catcher Erik Kratz. These three players provide important depth for Phillies team that has been over performing, but running out of gas. It is important to remember that the Phillies have called up Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, Aaron Altherr, and Darnell Sweeney within the last 2 weeks, all of whom would have gotten the call today.
On the pitching side Hinojosa gives the Phillies a long man to be able to move Jerome Williams back to the rotation in a 6 man rotation. Hinojosa has a lot of raw tools that could make him a workable major league reliever, but the stuff is not premium enough to get past his inconsistencies. However, he can go 3+ innings if needed which is something the Phillies are missing right now. Colton Murray got some press last fall as a potential 40 man add before the Rule 5 draft. He ultimately was left unprotected and unpicked before struggling to start the 2015 season. He has been scorching of late putting up a 0.57 ERA in August over 15.2 IP with 5 hits, 3 walks, and 15 strikkeouts. He is a genericish middle reliever with a fastball at 92-94, a solid to above average curveball, average changeup, and average command. If he does well he could stick around for opening day. Not getting the call is Nefi Ogando who was up for two days without getting into a game. Ogando fits less of an immediate need than the three players getting the call, and Lehigh Valley is hurting for pitching. He should get the call at the end of the season, but for now he waits his turn. Also not getting the call was lefty Ken Roberts who the Phillies claimed from Colorado. Roberts is a soft tossing lefty reliever and the Phillies only have Adam Loewen among lefty relief options on the major league roster.
On the third catcher front, it is the veteran Erik Kratz getting the call. Kratz is safe, he is predictable, and he gives them some bench flexibility. The loser here is Gabriel Lino, who doesn’t get a guaranteed spot. The non-move does not mean that the Phillies won’t protect Lino this offseason, but it does mean they are delaying making the decision for now. Elsewhere on the hitting side it is doubtful anyone gets the call without Dugsn just tearing it up for a week. There is an outside chance that the Phillies grab some middle infield depth after the season, but it isn’t required.
The Phillies continue to reiterate that they won’t touch the Reading roster until after that season is over. The two players who could get a look are the relievers Edubray Ramos and Jimmy Cordero. Jim Salisbury apparently mentioned pre-game that Jake Thompson could get the call after the Reading season, this makes little sense for me given his Rule 5 status (not impacted) and the fact that his fastball command is not major league ready.