As depressing as this is to everyone who loves summer, Saturday is Sept. 1.
In the baseball world, that means expanded rosters.
Starting on Sept. 1, teams can activate everyone on their 40-man roster if they so choose. You typically do not see a team make use of all 40 spots because it crams the clubhouse and dugout and some of them aren't needed.
But the 2018 Phillies figure to use more extra men in September than the last few years because of two reasons: They are in contention, and Gabe Kapler loves to match up.
Here's a look at the players most likely to be called up to the majors on Sept. 1. Keep in mind that the Triple A IronPigs will be going after a championship this month, so you could see a few players left at Lehigh Valley until they're actually needed.
SP Jerad Eickhoff
Eickhoff has started five games in August in his attempt to come back from lat and hand injuries. He has a 1.83 ERA in those five starts, including six shutout innings for Triple A Lehigh Valley on Saturday.
Eickhoff figures to work as a long man for the Phillies in September because their rotation is full. He could still make a spot start if there's an injury, if Nick Pivetta struggles or a rainout forces the Phils to play a doubleheader.
C Andrew Knapp
Knapp is currently on the Phillies' 25-man roster, serving as a bench bat and third catcher with Wilson Ramos' lingering wrist and hamstring issues.
Knapp could be the odd man out by Tuesday afternoon if the Phillies are able to acquire Jose Bautista from the Mets (see story). But even if Knapp is sent out to make room for Bautista, he will definitely be back by the weekend. Every team in baseball calls up a third catcher for the month of September.
SS/3B J.P. Crawford
Crawford, who homered Monday night, last appeared in a game with the Phillies on June 19. He is the type of player who might benefit from some more regular playing time at Triple A before a mid-September call-up.
But the Phillies could also bring him back as a patient bat off the bench. This has mostly been a lost season for Crawford because of a forearm strain and a broken hand that kept him out for nearly six weeks each.
INF/OF Pedro Florimon
Florimon had his rehab assignment transferred to Triple A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. He's been out since May 30 because of a broken foot caused by a foul ball.
Florimon has played shortstop, third base, center field and right field for the Phillies this season. He's pitched too, of course.
The Phillies could utilize Florimon's defense on the left side of the infield late in games. He's a better defender at this point than Asdrubal Cabrera and is obviously more seasoned than Scott Kingery.
OFs Aaron Altherr, Dylan Cozens
Altherr hasn't done a lot of hitting since being demoted to Triple A on July 22. Entering Monday night, he had hit .245/.314/.340 in 30 games with the IronPigs.
But the Phillies could use his speed and defense late in games. He's still a better and more instinctive outfielder than everyone on the Phillies' 25-man roster other than Roman Quinn.
Cozens, theoretically, could provide left-handed power off the bench, but he hasn't hit much lately — .156 with 19 strikeouts in his last 54 plate appearances.
The Phillies could call up both Altherr and Cozens on Sept. 1 but it seems more likely they wait to bring Cozens back until a bit later in the month, when he's seeing the ball better.
LHP Austin Davis and RHP Edubray Ramos
Both are on the 10-day DL — Davis with a back injury and Ramos with a blister.
Davis started a rehab assignment at Triple A on Monday.
Both have spent plenty of time up with the big club this season and had their share of successes. Davis is not a conventional lefty specialist. Lefties have actually hit .293 against him compared to .213 for righties.
The Phillies value Davis' endurance, though. Of his 22 appearances in the majors this season, seven were scoreless outings longer than an inning.
Ramos has a 2.00 ERA in 42 appearances and was arguably the Phillies' most consistent reliever in the first half.
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