The typical Baltimore September features the start of the Ravens' season and the Orioles playing out the final days of another losing season. As this September approaches the Orioles remain in the thick of the American League pennant race. The club is expected to add several players when rosters expand on September 1st, but don't look for a bunch of young prospects set to make their big league debuts.
The Orioles already promoted top hitting prospect Manny Machado three weeks ago. The 20 year old shortstop has contributed with the bat and learned how to play third base on the fly. Baltimore was rumored to recall teenaged fireballer Dylan Bundy when rosters expand but in comments made yesterday Buck Showalter suggested that Bundy will be heading to the Instructional League rather than the Major Leagues. The 19 year right-hander has logged 103 2/3 innings at three stops in Baltimore's minor league system. The Orioles reportedly put a 125 inning limit on Bundy this season. The youngster will likely approach that limit if the Double-A Bowie BaySox make the Eastern League playoffs. Bundy has a bright future and the Orioles seem to be rightly erring on the side of caution in not calling him up to the Major Leagues.
The Orioles will likely bring enigmatic starter Jake Arrieta back from Triple-A Norfolk to pitch out of the bullpen down the stretch. Arrieta was Baltimore's Opening Day starter but inconsistency and ineffectiveness earned him a trip to Norfolk in July. The Orioles may also recall speedy outfielder Xavier Avery from Norfolk. Avery had two brief stints with the Orioles earlier in the season. He could provide speed and defense off the bench. Catcher Luis Exposito could get also get the call back to the Major Leagues when rosters expand. Exposito struggled with the bat during his brief stay with the Orioles in May. He is however on the 40 man roster and could provide additional insurance behind the plate for All Star Matt Wieters.
In addition to the players mentioned above the Orioles are expected to activate veterans Jason Hammel, Jim Thome, Wilson Betemit and lefty specialist Troy Patton off the disabled list in early September. Hammel and Patton will help shore up Baltimore's pitching staff. Thome will provide a veteran bat off the bench. Outfield prospect L.J. Hoes is a dark horse candidate for a call up. The 22 year old Hoes is having a stellar season for the Norfolk Tides. The former third round draft pick is hitting .307 with a .378 on base percentage in 77 games for the Tides. Hoes is not on the Orioles' 40 man roster so the club would have to release someone like Steve Tolleson to make room for the promising youngster.
*Information gathered from http://www.mlb.com.
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