On Sunday, Major League Baseball welcomed in the roster expansion period -- that time of the regular season when teams are allowed to carry more than 25 players. This is the final year where teams will be able to carry up to 40 players, as next season they'll be capped at 28.
To celebrate the last true roster expansion period, we've highlighted below five interesting players who were promoted to the Show on Sunday. As always, this is more art than science -- if you prefer a different promoted player to the ones we've listed, that's fine with us.
Note that the players are presented in alphabetical order.
Entering the spring, Johan Camargo appeared overqualified for a bench role. He was coming into his age-25 season with a career 111 OPS+ in nearly 800 big-league plate appearances. Yet he struggled mightily this season, resulting in a 55 OPS+ in 236 trips to the plate and a recent demotion to Triple-A. We're including Camargo because we're intrigued to see if he made any adjustments during his time on the farm. If so, the Braves could have another useful piece of depth on hand. If not, Camargo's once-promising career might be on its way off the rails.
Speaking of unexpected turns, Clint Frazier hasn't appeared in the majors since mid-June despite possessing a 120 OPS+ on the year and the Yankees having countless injuries. Frazier defense might be shaky, but so is Franmil Reyes's and Nicholas Castellanos's -- and both of those players found takers at the deadline. Frazier remained in place, suggesting the Yankees value him more than his prolonged demotion indicates. The question now is how does he fit on the roster heading forward? We're not expecting a definitive answer in September -- not with the Yankees competing for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs -- yet we are expecting Frazier to mash when he's given the opportunity.
Brusdar Graterol, for those who don't know, has one of the top arms in the Twins system. The 21-year-old has appeared in 18 games this season, mostly with Double-A Penascola, and has accumulated a 1.92 ERA and 2.65 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has a high-quality fastball-slider combination and could provide the AL Central-leading Twins with a boost out of the bullpen. Because of his delivery, there's a good chance he ends up as a reliever for the long haul.
Nate Lowe has the highest OPS+ on the Rays among batters with more than 100 trips to the plate. Yet he's been stuck in Triple-A due to … well, does it matter? Even Lowe doesn't seem to care about the team's reasoning for the demotion. "I didn't really buy into it. I just kind of figured that I've got to be good wherever my feet are, and that's the only thing we can do," he told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times upon his return. Provided Lowe keeps hitting as he has, he's unlikely to find himself back in the minors anytime soon -- whether he remains with the Rays, who are presumably less-than-thrilled with his frankness, is to be determined.
We'll end with Sean Murphy, who likely would have debuted earlier were it not for injury. Murphy hit .308/.386/.625 in 31 games a Triple-A, yet he's known foremost for his defense. He has a very good arm and grades well as a receiver. If Murphy can continue to tap into his raw strength and can hit the ground running, he could represent a big-time upgrade over the Josh Phegley-Chris Herrmann concoction the Athletics have been using behind the plate. Given that the A's are essentially in a three-team race for a Wild Card Game berth, they could use each and every improvement at their disposal.