MINNEAPOLIS -- As the final month of the season approaches, September call-ups are on the minds of fans.
Unfortunately, two of the players Minnesota Twins fans would like to see aren't likely to be on the list.
The Twins have one of the top farm clubs in the majors, and two of the top players in all of the minors, Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, are in the Twins' system and will probably remain there.
General manager Terry Ryan said the team is not opposed to bringing people up from Double-A, which is where Sano is playing with the New Britain Rock Cats. Ryan has said throughout the season that Sano was a possibility for September call-up, but that is looking less likely.
"There are a lot of things that would go into that decision: how many at-bats he'd get and things like that," Ryan said. "The possibilities of him coming up here are not high."
Sano has certainly produced this season and will make it to the big leagues sooner than later. But he is young and requires more seasoning, and, according to Ryan, there are other considerations.
"The other thing: He is not eligible to be protected for another two years," Ryan said. "We are not in the position to want to be worrying about roster spots when you don't have to. And it would be a rush. He's got all he can handle right now. Nobody says it wouldn't benefit him. For sure it would be beneficial for the experience and the like, but also I've got to use some roster management."
Buxton, on the other hand, is in a different situation. He is playing for the Fort Myers Miracle in High A, and his team is in the playoffs. Ryan says that makes for valuable experience for the No. 1 prospect in the minors.
"We're going to keep him there for a lot of reasons. I think that's where he belongs, No. 1," Ryan said. "But also just to support the team -- they're in the playoffs. I want him to play playoff baseball. He needs to get into that playoff atmosphere to see what it's like for urgency on every at-bat and every play and what it's like to lead a team to a possible championship."
According to Ryan, playoff seasoning is every bit as important as other kinds of development a player goes through in the minors. Playing in the major leagues is about handling the pressure, and playoff pressure at the previous level can be good experience. The Rochester Redwings are in the playoff hunt, one game out of first place.
"I don't think we give enough credit to what playoff baseball in minor leagues is about to teach them what it might be like up here," Ryan said. "It's nowhere in the grand scheme of things of importance, but it is important for players to go through it to learn how to win a championship and how to win a series. We have a lot of kids we need to (go through that)."
There are other players at the lower levels worth consideration -- second baseman Eddie Rosario and catcher Josmil Pinto, for instance -- but it's more likely that fans will see players they have already seen this season. Eduardo Escobar, Aaron Hicks, Chris Parmelee and Scott Diamond are candidates. Even Darin Mastroianni, who made the opening day roster but has been hurt since the first week of the season.
Then again, that could all change. "If we had two or three injuries all of a sudden," Ryan said, "then I would have to rethink that."
--The Sports Xchange team correspondents contributed to this report.