Another reminder: Sam and I are video chatting right here at 1 p.m. Until then…
Three minor leaguers will be added to the Yankees roster before tonight’s game. All three seem likely to play fairly minor roles, but that’s what September call-ups are about, small tweaks that might help once in a while.
Who: The top reliever in the International League, he earned his call-up and then some. His Triple-A stats are seriously stunning: 63.1 IP, 38 H, 18 BB, 82 K, 1.42 ERA and a .170 opponents batting average. Triple-A right-handers are hitting .111 against him.
Why: How could any team pass up those numbers? Albaladejo seems to have reinvented himself since his past two years on the Yankees Opening Day roster. He’s more of a four-seam guy these days, and he’s pitched well in limited big league action this season.
Role: Limited. He’s not going to push Dave Robertson, Joba Chamberalin or Kerry Wood out of the eighth inning, but he’ll probably get a chance to pitch and could certainly beginning making an impression for next season. He’s not really seen as a long man any more, so the Yankees need to see this new one-inning-at-a-time version.
Who: Former first-round pick who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Rangers. He can play defense at all three outfield spots, and he has plus speed despite only 17 stolen bases with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He hit .263 with 10 homers in Triple-A, and he got his first big league hit this season with the Yankees.
Why: In making my September call-up predictions, I somehow forgot the lesson of Freddy Guzman: There’s always room for a guy who can run. Even with Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez providing some speed off the bench, Golson could be this year’s Guzman.
Role: Running. It’s hard to imagine Golson getting regular playing time in the Yankees outfield — even against left-handed starters — but he can come off the bench to steal a bag, or he can play defense in the late innings to give one of the regulars a break. The Yankees found a spot for Guzman, even in the postseason.
Who: Veteran catcher signed at the end of spring training to backup and mentor Jesus Montero in Triple-A, and to serve as insurance in New York. Moeller has played in the big leagues every year since 2000, and he’s already spent some time with the Yankees this season.
Why: Moeller played only 28 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Montero was the team’s starter — and a postseason all-star — but Moeller was the guy with experience. That’s why he’s the guy who go the call-up. There was no need to put Montero on the 40-man sooner than necessary.
Role: Third catcher. Given Jorge Posada’s occasional injury problems and Francisco Cervelli’s slumping offense, a third option behind the plate makes obvious sense. Even when he was the second catcher earlier this season, Moeller hardly played. He’s probably here to play in the late innings if and when Cervelli is lifted for a pinch hitter.