Rosters Expand and Make an Impact

As the calendar rolls over to September it marks the final full month of the 2010 regular season. While the Arizona Diamondbacks have been playing markedly better baseball as of late they are still in last place in the NL West.

Any combination of Diamondbacks losses or San Diego Padres wins totaling eight and Arizona would be eliminated from winning the NL West. Their hopes of being a wild card team are equally bleak.

The Diamondbacks have to be content in knowing their role for the remainder of the season is to be a spoiler. Given how many of their opponents this month has post-season aspirations, the Diamondbacks could be a factor in who makes the playoffs.

September 1st has other implications too. It marks the date where rosters expand from 25 to 40. Teams are allowed to call up anyone who is listed on the 40-man roster.

Some teams do this to give their starters a breather while other teams use these call-ups to evaluate young talent or reward players who have had outstanding minor league seasons.

The Diamondbacks plan on several call-ups that will be staged as minor league teams finish their seasons. Today Arizona made four roster changes including three call-ups and one injury return.
Right-handed pitcher Leo Rosales returned from the 60-day disabled list months after injuring his foot. He will join the bullpen and try to finish stronger than he began.

The three call-ups came from the Triple-A Reno Aces and included right-handed reliever Carlos Rosa, infielder Tony Abreu, and infielder outfielder Brandon Allen. Both Rosa and Abreu were with the team earlier this season.

Allen who was sent to Reno during Spring Training after the Diamondbacks signed Adam LaRoche would make his 2010 debut during today’s game.

Allen is a first baseman that the Diamondbacks received in a 2009 trade that sent Tony Pena to the Chicago White Sox. For most of the season Allen played first base in Reno but lately has also seen time in left field.

In today’s game Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson tested the rookie putting him in left field moving Gerardo Parra to right field in place of the injured Justin Upton.

Allen made the most of his opportunity making several difficult catches including one against the bullpen fence that robbed the Padres of extra bases. It was not just his defense that impressed.

With the Padres leading the game, Allen came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a grand slam that ended up being the winning runs for the Diamondbacks to complete their sweep of San Diego.

If this is any indication of what the Diamondbacks can expect, this could be a very exciting month of baseball in the desert.


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