Will Angels add beyond 7 initial callups?

September 1st, 2019

ANAHEIM -- The Angels brought up their first wave of September callups on Sunday, calling up infielders , and Jared Walsh, outfielder Michael Hermosillo and relievers Jake Jewell and Luke Bard from Triple-A Salt Lake. Lefty reliever Adalberto Mejia also had his contract purchased.

The Angels are expected to bring up a few more players once the Triple-A season ends on Monday. Catcher will almost certainly be called up, while reliever is eligible to come back up on Friday after being optioned on Tuesday. Reliever (right trapezoid strain) also threw a bullpen session on Sunday and is expected to return in a week or so, while fellow reliever was placed on the 10-day injured list with right forearm inflammation on Saturday, but the righty could be ready to return once he’s eligible.

"From a pitching perspective, it makes it easy," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said of the expanded rosters. "You don’t worry too much about running out of pitching. We won’t have to shuttle players up and down as a result of extra-inning games or a tired bullpen. Makes it easy for me, but makes it easy for the players as well.”

The Angels didn’t call up any of their top prospects such as outfielder Jo Adell, who is ranked as the club’s No. 1 prospect and No. 4 overall by MLB Pipeline. Adell, 20, will instead see action in the Arizona Fall League to help him get ready for next season. Adell is expected to make his debut early in the 2020 season.

The club’s 40-man roster is currently full, but they could move right-hander Griffin Canning to the 60-day disabled list to create a spot. Infielder Jose Rojas, who isn’t on the 40-man roster, could warrant a look. The 26-year-old is hitting .297/.365/.585 with 31 homers and 107 RBIs in 124 games at Salt Lake.

Ausmus made it sound like the Angels don’t plan to call up too many more players after Sunday’s wave.

“This is the bulk of it,” Ausmus said.

Arrival: Canning

The 23-year-old made 18 appearances (17 starts) as a rookie for the Angels, posting a 4.58 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 90 1/3 innings. The righty showed plenty of promise with his ability to miss bats, registering a swinging-strike percentage of 13.8 that would've ranked among the top 15 starters in the Majors if he had enough innings to qualify. He hit a bit of a rough patch in July and is on the injured list with right elbow inflammation for a second time this season, so there’s still plenty of work to do, but he looks like he should be part of the rotation for years to come.

Breakout: Shortstop/second baseman Jeremiah Jackson

The club's No. 5 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, has shown off incredible power with the Rookie-level Orem Owlz. Jackson, 19, is hitting .277/.348/.643 and tied the Pioneer League record with 23 homers in 60 games. He'll need to cut down on his strikeouts, but the right-handed hitter possesses rare power for a middle infielder.

Something to prove: Second baseman Jahmai Jones, ranked as the club's No. 6 prospect by MLB Pipeline, has fared better recently, but the 22-year-old had a slow start at Double-A Mobile and is batting .235/.309/.325 with five homers, 22 doubles and 50 RBIs in 128 games. Jones, though, did hit .323 with 11 extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in 25 games in August. He will get a chance to improve his stock in the Arizona Fall League, in which he fared well last year, batting .321 in 19 games.

Name to watch: Adell is the organization’s most highly regarded prospect since Mike Trout and is expected to be the club’s starting right fielder at some point in 2020. The Angels must decide whether to pick up right fielder Kole Calhoun’s $14 million option this offseason. If they don’t, it opens the door for Adell to take over in right early next season, possibly even on Opening Day. Brian Goodwin also gives the Angels another viable option in right if Adell isn’t ready early in the year.