September callups a non-issue for Friars
Most young players are already with Major League roster
MIAMI -- September is almost here, and that means big league teams will be adding players to their rosters -- but the Padres' roster will look a lot like it has over the past two months.
Manager Bud Black is aware of the organization's plan for the final 30 games of the season, and he feels the additional players will help in a variety of ways as the 2009 season comes to an end.
"Roster expansion is coming in a few days and [executive vice president/general manager] Kevin [Towers] and [vice president] Fred [Uhlman Jr.] have talked about that and they have a plan for it," Black said. "Edgar [Gonzalez] will be back, I'm sure. He's doing OK and he's feeling fine. There are no after effects anymore [from a concussion suffered on July 19].
"[Eliezer] Alfonzo will come at some point to be the third catcher. We'll also bring some pitching back, and they'll be reinforcements."
While Black is happy to add players that can help his team, he mentions that most players that would be September callups for other teams are already a part of the Padres' big league club.
"A lot of times when you bring guys up, you want to give them playing time," Black said. "All the guys that you would expect to be brought up in September are already here, so we're going to keep playing these guys. We want them to get Major League experience. [Kyle] Blanks, [Will] Venable, [Tony] Gwynn, [Nick] Hundley, [Chase] Headley, [Kevin] Kouzmanoff, [Everth] Cabrera, all the younger players at the top end of our system are here. There aren't that many young players that we won't be giving playing time to."
Some Major League teams use September to see how younger players will do at the top level. The Padres have been watching most of their younger players for two months, so they plan to use the roster expansion to see how these players will react to playing more games than they are used to in a season.
"September is no different than July or August when they were all here, too," Black said. "They're all important. For players, you want to finish strong. The Major League season is a little bit longer than the Minor League season because it starts in February and ends in October. A lot of these guys are used to Minor League Spring Training starting in March and the season ending in September.
"It will be a test of durability for them. We're going to see how well they can stay fit physically and mentally."
David Villavicencio is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.