The idea of the September call-up is very simple. Players that are sniffing the majors get one month to play in front of crowds in baseball’s greatest shrines. A team that may be well out of the race does not have to send down half of the team, instead they can look to their minor league clubs for additional talent for the team. If these teams did not have to face any contenders for the rest of the season, this would be a perfect scenario. Instead, these teams (and their expanded rosters) create battles of depth that can change one team’s playoff destiny.
Looking back at Tigers close calls of 2006 and 2009, and there’s a chance that hungry minor leaguers played a big part in Minnesota Twins divisional championships. Whether it was a Royals team in 2006 using one pinch runner after another to get speed on the basepaths or the 2009 White Sox using additional relievers, roster expansion changes how the games are played.
Is there a benefit to this? Perhaps. I do not believe that five months of the season should be played in a different fashion than the sixth. It also doesn’t help anything that these games take at least an hour longer as managers easily go through seven or eight pitchers a game. While baseball games are meant to be played on sandlots by kids looking to achieve their dream, it’s some of these major leaguers who are taking postseason glory from others.
In 2010, the Tigers will add members to their roster that they normally would not during the course of the regular season. Although this season, Tigers fans have already seen their version of a September roster-wide call-up. How many minor leaguers have the Tigers brought up to Comerica Park for their first major league go this season? With the team bounding between one fighting for a playoff race and one fighting for .500, the September call-ups will undoubtedly make and break some hearts this September.