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Six potential Rockies September call-ups

Roster expansion is here! A quick look at who we might see join the big league club.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It's September! Along with the welcome (to some) addition of college and pro football, it's the final month of the MLB regular season. That's always fun for fans of teams that are in playoff races, but even for those who aren't, expanded active rosters can bring excitement and hope for the future.

That's the case for the Rockies this year, one that has brought significant improvement to the club at 20th and Blake. And as well as the club has played at times this year, giving a September shot to more young, potentially impactful players this month should provide even more of a boost.

There are probably a dozen or so players who could receive a shot, but six are more realistic than others. Here's who we could see this month. Note that a player's status on the 40-man roster will likely play a big part in what the Rockies decide to do. Also, this list doesn't include injured/rehabbing players, nor does it include Christian Bergman, who was procedurally optioned back to Triple-A on Thursday but will probably be back with the big club as soon as it can be made official.

Tom Murphy

40-man roster status: Yes

The 25-year-old catcher has laid wasted to the PCL this season, hitting .327/.361/.647 with 19 homers in 322 plate appearances for Triple-A Albuquerque. The absence of Murphy -- on whom we'll have more later today or tomorrow -- from the big league roster this season has been a bit confounding, especially because he performed well in limited duty in 2015. But he's likely to be one of the Rockies' first September additions -- perhaps as soon as today.

Raimel Tapia

40-man roster status: Yes

"Hits," as I like to call him, has enjoyed his promotion to Triple-A, posting a .346/.355/.490 line in 110 trips to the plate for the Isotopes. Tapia's walk rate is low across both levels he's played at this season but he rarely strikes out either, instead choosing barrel up just about anything thrown his way. After what will surely be a brief adjustment period, Tapia -- still just 22 -- might hit .400 at Coors Field.

Rafael Ynoa

40-man roster status: Yes

Ynoa is definitely not the most exciting option, with his .678 OPS in 207 big league plate appearances. But baseball managers love versatility, and the 29-year-old utility player provides that, even if he's capable of contributing little else. Plus, bringing up Ynoa is a very Rockies move, is it not? At any rate, his performance down the stretch will at least give the Rockies some ammo when it comes time to make a decision on whether they should tender him a contract for 2017.

Ben Paulsen

40-man roster status: Yes

As is the case with Ynoa, it's put up or shut up time for Paulsen, who hasn't been good in 2016. Paulsen, 28, hit just .217/.258/.304 in two separate stints with the Rockies and has basically done more of the same at Albuquerque, where he's struggled to find playing time as of late. Paulsen has shown flashes of being a legitimate major league hitter, and the Rockies will probably give him this month to prove he can do it with more consistency before making a decision this offseason on his future with the club.

Eddie Butler

40-man roster status: Yes

Butler had a strong August for the Isotopes in terms of results, but his inability to miss bats that that level has officially become a red flag of epic proportions. The 25-year-old right-hander has struck out just 34 batter in 82 Triple-A innings. He's been used primarily as a starter at Albuquerque, but it might be time for the Rockies to see what Butler can do in one-inning situations -- and he's open to it, telling Purple Row after his most recent start that he'll do whatever it takes to get back to the big leagues.

Simon Castro

40-man roster status: No

The Rockies still have Trevor Story, who isn't likely to return this season, on the 15-day disabled list, so transferring him to the 60-day DL could create a spot for Castro. The 28-year-old right-hander has quietly had a very good season at Albuquerque, posting a 3.51 ERA -- not bad for the PCL -- while striking out 57 batters and walking only 12 in 51⅓ innings. Castro is a former highly regarded prospect who might be a bit of a late bloomer, and it would behoove the Rockies to find out if he can help their abominable big league bullpen.



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"Unbelievable grasp of players. To a man, everybody respects him. When he talks, everybody listens, and those are great qualities to have."

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The Denver Post beat writer on the bullpen's struggles:

There is plenty of blame to go around. Manager Walt Weiss’ choices in how to use his relievers have been head-scratchers at times, the latest being his decision to use rookie Matt Carasiti — he of the 13.03 ERA — in the eighth inning Wednesday night, a move that lit the fuse to the Dodgers’ rally.

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Reynolds, to BSN Denver's Drew Creasman:

"Obviously, I want to get back out there. But I’m not going to help the team if I’m not ready. I can go in and play defense and with the rosters expanding, I’ll just be another guy on the bench that Walt can use whenever he wants."

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Rox Pile's Trevor Irvine on the upcoming series against the Diamondbacks:

The Rockies, at a minimum, have to take two-from-three from Arizona, and all three phases of the game have to be switched on. If they get swept by the D-backs, like they were by the lowly Phillies and Brewers, serious questions will have to be asked about the future of this team.