Feature Photo: Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals
Week 22 got off to a slow start (no complaints here), with just one newcomer, Braves catcher David Freitas, getting called up, no less getting into a game, by Friday.
For some reason, Friday suddenly got busy. I’m not sure why. Oh, right. September 1.
And with that, I’ll stop with the witticisms and puns and jokestery stuff and get right to business, as last year we welcomed approximately 20% of our entire season’s debutantes in the month of September.
Despite the minor league regular season not winding up until Monday, September 4, the onslaught of 40-man roster-expansion promotions came surprisingly quickly as Friday progressed, keeping your humble scribe pretty busy (fortunately, she had no big plans for the weekend other than to keep track of the debutantes, plus it poured all day Saturday anyway).
By the end of the Labor Day weekend games on Sunday, we’d seen the promotions of 28 players post-roster expansion, and the actual debuts of 25 of them during the three-day span, bringing our season tally to 235 (compared to 225 debuts through Sunday night of 2016 Labor Day weekend).
Interestingly enough, though (well, interesting to your humble scribe), in 2016, only TWO players actually came up and made their debuts ON Thursday, September 1, with seven more on Friday, September 2, and six on Saturday, September 3, for a total of 15 players debuting in those first three days/nights from the beginning of roster expansion. Even if you add in Sunday, September 4, there were only two debuts made that day, so a full total of 17 players in that extended September 1/Labor Day weekend span.
This year, in comparison (perhaps because the first fell on a Friday and the coincided with the beginning of a lot of series), we saw 11 debuts on Friday, September 1, 10 more on Saturday, September 2 and four more “stragglers” on Sunday, September 3. Three players had yet to get into games: a relief pitcher, a catcher and a pitcher who had been summoned specifically to make his MLB debut start on Monday. Barring catastrophe you can expect to see all three and many, many more in next week’s recap.
Look for even more continued promotions as teams, especially at the Triple-A and Double-A levels, start getting knocked out of the minor league playoffs (some of which go three rounds) and more call-ups follow accordingly!
(Reminder! The MLB Debut table is also found by clicking the Spotlights Tab on our home page, and scrolling to the top sub-menu selection.)