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Rosters expand September 1, but do not expect too many right away

Tomorrow is the day that rosters expand in Major League Baseball.  Today is also the waiver trade deadline in baseball, but the Phillies are probably done making moves unless someone surprises them with an offer for either catcher Carlos Ruiz or first baseman Ryan Howard.   The Phillies will likely add some to the Major League roster, but it may have to wait a few days.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are still in season until September 7, when the 'Pigs play a 1:35 Labor Day matchup against Pawtucket.  The Phillies might be able to use a few players on the AAA roster going forward, but they may have to wait until after the seventh.   The reason is that the IronPigs will still need to field a roster.  The playoff-bound AA Reading Fightin' Phils likely cannot spare any extra parts to fill out a AAA roster.

One player that could come up right away is catcher Erik Kratz.   Almost unbelievably, the Phillies have gone through the whole 2015 season so far without needing to call up a third catcher. The very physical position almost always leads to a disabled list stint for either the starter or backup.  Adding a third catcher is a common move in September to at the very least provide some relief to the daily wear and tear of the Phillies backstop staff. 

Gabriel Lino is certainly another option, but the Phillies may have promised Kratz a September call-up when they signed him; the team has made similar promises in the past.   The Phillies may wish not to start Lino's service time clock.  Lino and Logan Moore can remain with Lehigh Valley to finish the season, making Kratz a spare part the team does not need.

The Phillies relief corps is in major need of help.  With the Phillies reportedly looking into a six-man rotation in September to give the young starting pitchers some extra rest, the Phillies would need to add at least one reliever right away.  Dailer Hinojosa is a good candidate to come up immediately.  Hinojosa pitched well in his brief appearances with the Phillies.    The IronPigs are adding Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to their roster from the disabled list, so that frees an arm up for the Phillies.

Nefi Ogando could come later; since he was just optioned he must remain in the minors for 10 days.  Ken Roberts was just claimed by the Phillies.  But Roberts too was also just optioned to AAA; the Phillies might see him later.  Seth Rosin could get another shot at the Major Leagues.  While Rosin was outrighted off of the 40-man roster, the Phillies have two potential 40-man roster spots.  Matt Harrison and Chad Billingsley could be moved to the 60-day disabled list easily.

Another potential immediate stopgap could be outfielder Jordan Danks.  Danks had a few at bats with the Phillies this season.  Picked up off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox prior to the 2015 season, Danks is the only position player on the 40-man roster aside from first baseman Tommy Joseph and the recovering Jorge Alfaro on the 40-man roster left, but neither figure to be September call-ups.  Danks could be a useful piece.

Once Lehigh Valley is finished, Ogando, Roberts, and possibly David Buchanan and Severino Gonzalez could join the Phillies.   But until then, someone has to play for the IronPigs.

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