Earlier this week we reported that there was a rumor circulating that Delmon Young was told to be ready for a call-up to the big leagues. Manager Joe Maddon was asked about the possibility of Young being called up on September 1st, when rosters expend to 40 players. He would only say that “He’s being discussed.”
We can only think of two reasons why the team would not call up Delmon Young on September 1st. The first reason is if the team feels that Young needs further ‘punishment’ for the bat-tossing incident earlier this season that netted Young a 49-game suspension. In this case, they just need to come out and say that this is the reason and be done with it. The other potential reason is that the team really is being stingy and are afraid to start Young’s arbitration clock. If that was the case, then this would suggest that the team does not intend for Delmon Young to be in right field for any length of time in 2007 either. Bringing Delmon up in September would NOT allow Young to be arbitration eligible a year early. On the other hand if the team has made a decision, for some reason they do not want their intentions to be known. For the life of us, we can’t think why.
Delmon Young is as ready for the big leagues as anybody else they could call up, except for Kevin Witt. He is hitting .323-7-53 in 75 games this season (actually he has hit home run #8 tonight). Do they want Delmon to continue working on his plate discipline? Do they want him to hit .400 in the minors? If Young is not ready for the majors, then nobody in the farm system is ready, and nobody should be called up.
He is on the 40-man roster already. He is the top prospect in all baseball. His batting average would be 3rd in the IL if he had enough at bats to qualify. His numbers dwarf those of B. J. Upton and his defense is obviously better. There is an immediate need for a right fielder, for a team that continues to start Damon Hollins and Russell Branyan. There is no reason not to call him up.
Or is there? There could be another reason the team is “discussing” it. They could be afraid of the media backlash of calling up a guy that threw a bat at an umpire. If that is the case, then the sooner they call him up the better. It will only be news for a day, but it will be news no matter when they decide to call him up, so they might as well get it over with.
Devil Rays still deciding whether to call up Young [ESPN]