Before we get into who will be called up, we have to realize that the Yankees 40-man roster currently has 48 players on it thanks to eight players that are currently on the 60-day DL. That means that if the Yankees call up Andy Pettitte, Pedro Feliciano, and possibly even Brett Gardner (as a pinch runner) then they have to make room by cutting at least three players from the 40-man roster and if they want to call up any players not on the 40-man roster, like Chris Dickerson, they will need to remove potentially a fourth player.
Brett Gardner: Since that is the situation it seems unlikely that Gardner will get called up just because a pinch runner is a luxury that they may not want to risk losing a player over. But Feliciano and Pettitte are virtual locks to get called up so let’s find at least two players the Yankees can remove from the 40-man.
Ramiro Pena: Looking at the list and the first player that immediately jumps out to me is Ramiro Pena. He’s been a useful player in emergency situations, but the reality is that he’s completely expendable with other players like Corban Joseph and David Adams on the 40-man. He’s gone.
Justin Thomas: Thomas is an interesting name on the 40-man. The Yankees claimed him off waivers from the Red Sox back in May. Since then he’s been good but not great in Triple-A postinga 3.45 ERA, a 7.7 K/9, and a 3.1 BB/9 in 57.1 innings in the Yankees organization. He could be cut, but then Adam Warren and Cory Wade are the only other two pitchers on the 40-man roster that aren’t in the majors. So just for emergency sake the Yankees may decide against DFA’ing him.
That brings us to…
Dellin Betances: No, it’s not quite time to DFA him, despite his horrible season, but he’s on the minor league DL with a shoulder injury. The Yankees could decide to place him on the 60-day DL which would free up a spot on the roster. It’s unclear how bad his injury is though so this is not a decision to be made without more information. If he can still pitch again this year, the Yankees may want him to.
Chris Dickerson: Assuming they don’t call up Gardner, Pena, Thomas, and Betances could be removed from the 40-man roster which would allow them to call up Dickerson. He’s important right now with Mark Teixeira out because Steve Pearce can be the first baseman against lefties and Nick Swisher can do it against righties with Dickerson, who hits righties very well, replacing Swish in right field. The Yankees might not make this move, but it seems like a smart one to consider.
Let’s move on to the easy part, the guys that are actually on the 40-man roster.
Adam Warren: The Yankees Triple-A team is in the playoffs so that complicates things a little bit as they may want Warren to participate in that. So he may not be called up on September 1st. If they go that route, he’ll definitely be called up as soon as the Triple-A playoffs are over for the Yankees.
Cory Wade: Same deal with Warren, but since he is not a starter and the Yankees could use bullpen help now, I think he may be more likely to be called up on September 1st. He has had a 2.35 ERA with a 5.9 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Not bad numbers, but don’t expect a lot from him since that represents a decent drop in his K/9 from the major league level.
Francisco Cervelli AND Austin Romine: I’m lumping these two guys together for now. Both of them will probably be called up at some point in September, but with the Triple-A team in the playoffs it seems very likely that at least one and possibly both could be kept down until their season is over. My guess is that one will definitely be called up on September 1st though. Which one? I’m going with Cervelli, but that’s just a guess. It could be either.
Eduardo Nunez: I expect him called up on September 1st because his speed off the bench and bat could help the Yankees right away. He might even end up playing almost everyday, but don’t expect him to start in too many games if he starts in any games at all.
David Adams AND Corban Joseph: I expect that both of these guys will be called up, but I doubt it’s before the minor league season ends so it might be another week or two away.
Zoilo Almonte AND Melky Mesa: These two will be called up, but like Adams and Joseph it won’t be until the minor league season is over. They probably won’t play a lot, or at all though. It’ll just be for the experience. Melky could see some late game action as a pinch runner or defensive replacement, especially if the Yankees don’t call up Dickerson.
That’ll probably be it, but there are a few other guys not on the 40-man roster who have an outside chance at coming into play.
Ronnier Mustelier: He doesn’t have a spot on the 40-man roster which will probably be the biggest reason he isn’t called up. He might have helped the Yankees at some point this season, but with the trades of Ichiro Suzuki and Casey McGehee there really isn’t a big need for him. It’s too bad because he might have put up decent numbers this year for a guy off the bench.
Chase Whitley: He might be good enough to help the bullpen so he’s a possibility, but because of the 40-man roster crunch he doesn’t have a very realistic shot at a call-up.
Manny Banuelos: I wish he was a possibility, but with his elbow injury this year there is absolutely no chance.
Vidal Nuno: He’s put up amazing numbers at Double-A this season, but there would have to be a series of injuries before he became a realistic possibility.
Mark Montgomery: Out of all the guys not on the 40-man roster who aren’t named Dickerson, Montgomery probably has the best chance. Unfortunately he has not pitched above the Double-A level this year which is a sign that the Yankees would not consider him. Wait till next year on him.