While most teams are waiting for next Tuesday’s September call-ups, the Brewers will get a small jump on their opponents by getting two more arms back: pitcher Jeff Suppan will be activated form the DL on Tuesday, while Dave Bush will be activated from the DL on Thursday. Of course, two players–likely pitchers–will be given a short trip to Nashville to make room for them.
Candidates to get sent back for 5-7 days include struggling fill-in starter Mike Burns, recently called-up lefty Chris Narveson, and possibly Mark DiFelice, whose ERA since the All-Star break has been a horrible 7.82.
Whoever is dropped is likely to return next Tuesday, along with Mat Gamel and 1-2 others from Nashville. The Sounds season doesn’t end until September 7, so the parent club may not deplete the Sounds’ roster until after that date, especially if they are close to catching Memphis and making the playoffs. That means Sounds’ players that are on the 40-man–including J.J. Hardy and Tim Dillard–may be asked to wait until the Sounds’ season is over. As James indicated earlier, J.J. Hardy will lose a year of free agency if he is called up after September 2; with Hardy hitting .205 at AAA, and Alcides Escobar hitting .321 for the Brewers, don’t look for Hardy to take over at shorstop next week. The Brewers may opt to not offer J.J. Hardy arbitration next season, as Hardy would be guaranteed at least 80% of his ’09 salary, or $2.6 million. If the trade market appears favorable, the Crew will postpone his promotion to increase his trade value (as the acquiring team would control him for two years)…but the acquiring team would also have to be willing to offer him arbitration and pay him at least $2.6 million. Since the number of teams willing to take that kind of a gamble appear to be slim, Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin could call him up on September 1, and then not offer him arbitration, but try to negotiate a free agent contract with him…presumably for less than $2.6 million.
Also waiting in the wings are Seth McClung and Corey Hart…both are hoping and expecting to return in September.
Next week will prove to be interesting for Brewers’ fans in one other respect…the first three games of September are against the Redbirds.